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Fri 11 Mar 2011 10:10 AM

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Qatar Airways eyes India, Norway, Bulgaria routes in H2

CEO says Kolkata, Sofia and Oslo move is part of continuing expansion of international routes

Qatar Airways eyes India, Norway, Bulgaria routes in H2
A Qatar Airways Airbus A320. (Bloomberg)

Qatar Airways has announced that three cities will join its global network during the second half of 2011.

India, Norway and Bulgaria have been earmarked for new route development as the airline continues its international growth, the carrier said in a statement.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker unveiled the latest expansion details at a press conference on the opening day of ITB Berlin - the world's largest travel show taking place in the German capital this week.

Daily flights to the eastern Indian city of Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, will be launched on July 27 taking Qatar Airways' capacity in India to 95 services a week spread across 12 cities.

In Europe, the airline is to launch four-flights-a-week to the Bulgarian capital Sofia from September 14.

Beginning October 5, Qatar Airways will launch a five-flights-a-week service to Norway's capital city of Oslo.

The airline has also announced a raft of capacity increases that see the Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manchester and Dar Es Salaam routes go double daily, Geneva, Seychelles and Copenhagen will be upgraded to daily operations.

Al Baker said the airline's growth remained on target with relentless expansion.

"Yet again, we are demonstrating our strategic focus to serve key business and leisure cities around the world, as well as underserved markets with new direct flights and increased capacity," he said.

"As we take delivery of more aircraft, we will quickly induct them into service and constantly look at new opportunities to give the travelling public more travel options, more choice and more flexibility."

Since January 2010, Qatar Airways has taken delivery of 22 new planes.

By 2013, Qatar Airways plans to serve more than 120 key business and leisure destinations worldwide with a fleet of more than 120 aircraft.

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