By Andy Sambidge
UPDATE 1: Carrier will fly to four new destinations in Europe and two to Asia.
Qatar Airways on Monday announced it plans to launch six new routes in Europe and Asia from October.
The airline will fly to Budapest, Bucharest, Brussels, Nice, Hanoi and Phuket, according to a statement.
The Doha-based airline will phase in the route expansion over a four-month period with daily flights to Phuket - after Bangkok, its second destination in Thailand - kicking off the growth drive on October 11.
Three weeks later, beginning November 1, Qatar Airways will add the Vietnamese capital Hanoi to its network with four flights a week via Bangkok.
The carrier's European expansion drive will grow on November 24 with thrice-weekly flights to the French Mediterranean city of Nice, operating via Milan.
The New Year will see Qatar Airways' entry into eastern Europe with the launch of four flights a week to the Romanian capital of Bucharest, starting on January 17. The services continue on to Budapest, capital city of Hungary.
From January 31, the Belgian capital of Brussels will be added to the carrier's network.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said: "The airline is well positioned globally, focusing on a long term strategy that is forward thinking and not one to look back on. Budapest, Bucharest, Brussels, Nice, Hanoi and Phuket represent markets underserved so these are excellent opportunities for us to tap into."
He added: "Today's route network and fleet size will increase sharply over the next few years and all of us within Qatar Airways rise to the challenge by continuing to give our customers the Five Star level of service they fully deserve."
By 2013, Qatar Airways plans to serve 120 key business and leisure destinations worldwide with a modern fleet of 120 aircraft. Today, the airline's fleet stands at 84 aircraft, flying to 90 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and North America.
I hope and wonder which airline will fly to Mexico City first?