By Andy Sambidge
Carrier announces launch of new routes in Africa, central Asia; set to start operations in Nov
Qatar Airways on Tuesday announced it would launch new routes to Uganda, Azerbaijan and Georgia before the end of 2011.
The Doha-based airline said it would expand its presence in Africa with flights to Entebbe while it would also serve the central Asian capital cities of Baku And Tbilisi.
All three routes will begin operating in November, the carrier said in a statement.
The airline also said it will increase its frequency to a string of destinations including Paris, Copenhagen, Manchester and Muscat.
Daily non-stop scheduled flights to Uganda's second largest city of Entebbe are due to begin on November 2 while the Baku and Tbilisi flights will start on November 30.
The announcement comes as the Doha-based carrier prepares to launch other routes in 2011 - to Shiraz, Venice and Montreal in June; Kolkata in July; Sofia in September and Oslo in October.
Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways CEO said the new routes further demonstrated the airline's ambitious strategy to continue opening up new routes to popular and underserved markets.
He said the airline will be the only full-service Gulf carrier flying to the oil-rich city of Baku, becoming a natural fit for the airline linking up with Qatar, the energy capital of the Middle East.
Al Baker said Uganda, Azerbaijan and Georgia were markets largely underserved by international carriers.
"But there is clearly demand and huge potential and, as a network global carrier, we are able to fulfil the needs of the travelling public from these three countries and for those wanting to travel there from markets we serve around the world," he said.
"Qatar Airways already has a successful operation to the Russian capital Moscow. Expanding our presence deeper into Central Asia has been a focus of ours for some time so it is with extreme delight to be able to announce we will soon have new routes to add in this part of the world."
Qatar Airways also said it was to significantly increase flights to Saudi Arabia with the introduction of a fourth destination and additional services to existing markets.
The western Saudi city of Medina becomes the airline’s newest destination in the kingdom with four-flights-a-week, beginning July 14.
The new route launch is in addition to increased capacity to Saudi Arabia’s two largest cities – the capital Riyadh and Red Sea port city of Jeddah, which will each see their daily services rise to double daily, effective from the start of June.
Also from June 1, the eastern city of Dammam will see capacity increase from the current 21 flights a week to 28.For all the latest travel 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.
At Last Baku...a lot of people have been awaiting for this i agree with Mr. Akbar al -Baker that its underserved!!!