By Andy Sambidge
Carrier's CEO says routes growth in the pipeline following launch of Uganda services
Qatar Airways is keen to launch new destinations in Africa, its CEO has said as services started to Ugandan capital Kampala.
Akbar Al Baker said expansion plans are in the pipeline for the African continent but it was too early to identify cities to where the Doha-based carrier plans to start operations.
He said: "It is premature to say where we plan to operate as we don't want to give heads up to the competition, but there are plenty of opportunities across Africa, which remains largely underserved by international airlines."
Qatar Airways' entry into two other African cities this week - the Libyan port city of Benghazi and Ugandan city of Entebbe - takes the carrier's African portfolio to 16 destinations.
"Africa has been our focus this month with start-ups to both Benghazi and Entebbe and we look forward to even more over time," said Al Baker in comments published by state news agency QNA.
"With the airline now serving more than 100 destinations globally, the African component represents a sizeable figure and is set to grow even further," he said.
Al Baker stressed the importance of entering markets for the long-term, saying Qatar Airways was not in the business of moving into new territory and withdrawing.
"Here in Uganda, we are committed to this market long term and look forward to offering the travelling public the high levels of service that they fully deserve.
By 2013, Qatar Airways plans to serve more than 120 key business and leisure destinations worldwide with a fleet of over 120 aircraft.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.