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Qatar Airways announces rapid expansion plans to boost post-pandemic travel industry

Qatar Airways' Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on static display

Qatar Airways is expanding its routes and adding more destinations to its network, as the travel industry recovers from the pandemic. The Gulf carrier recently announced at the ITB tourism fair in Berlin that it plans to add seven new destinations, which includes Chittagong, Juba, Kinshasa, Lyon, Medan, Toulouse, and Trabzon, and to resume services to eleven other destinations, which include Beijing, Birmingham, Buenos Aires, Casablanca, Davao, Marrakesh, Nice, Osaka, Phnom Penh, Ras Al-Khaimah, and Tokyo Haneda. Additionally, the airline will increase the frequency of flights to 35 markets by July 2023, to achieve a 21 percent rise in flights compared to the same month last year.

CEO Akbar Al Baker, noted the airline’s dependency on deliveries from Airbus or Boeing amidst supply chain issues, making it necessary to be conservative with their plans. The new destinations include five in Europe and two in Africa, and Al Baker expressed optimism that the aviation industry is slowly rebounding from unprecedented pressures.

Despite the upward inflationary pressure on ticket prices, Al Baker assured that the airline is not passing on all fuel increases. As the tourism minister of Qatar, he also announced a campaign to increase visitors to the Gulf state, building on the attention generated by hosting the World Cup 2022 to boost the domestic tourism industry. The aim is to triple the number of annual visitors compared to 2019 levels to six-to-seven million, with a target of contributing 10 percent to the country’s economy.

Qatar Airways has been recognized as the ‘Airline of the Year’ at the 2022 World Airline Awards, organized by the international air transport rating organization, Skytrax. The airline has also been named the ‘World’s Best Business Class,’ ‘World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge,’ ‘World’s Best Business Class Airline Seat,’ ‘World’s Best Business Class Onboard Catering,’ and ‘Best Airline in the Middle East.’ Qatar Airways has won the top prize an unprecedented seven times, in 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021, and 2022, a testament to the airline’s excellence and commitment to providing world-class service.

At present, Qatar Airways flies to over 150 destinations worldwide, with its Doha hub, Hamad International Airport, voted as the ‘World’s Best Airport’ for 2022 by Skytrax. The airline’s extensive network and exceptional service make it a top choice for travelers around the world.

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