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Mon 22 Sep 2008 07:53 AM

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Qatar eyes major cargo routes expansion

Doha-based airline adds Spanish route and CEO says further growth is in the pipeline.

Qatar Airways Cargo has introduced a new cargo route between its operational hub of Doha with Zaragoza in northern Spain.

The route is being operated every Saturday using an Airbus A300-600 freighter and aims to capitalise on the important commercial and manufacturing base of Zaragoza, which is the capital of Zaragoza province.

Major industries in and around Zaragoza province include textiles, agriculture, footwear, automobiles and pharmaceuticals.

The move signals a plan by the airline to expand its cargo operations - having previously made great efforts to grow its passenger services.

Qatar Airways Cargo, the freighter arm of Doha-based Qatar Airways, currently has a cargo network of 18 destinations worldwide.

Qatar Airways chief executive officer Akbar Al Baker said the airline had made great strides to build up its passenger network over the past decade since its launch, and was now stepping up a gear to develop the cargo side of the business.

"The volume of cargo flown by Qatar Airways has increased, due largely to the huge growth in the number of routes, aircraft and increased frequency to many destinations," he said.

"Qatar Airways is committed to growing its cargo route network further with plans to introduce more cities as brand new freighters join the fleet."

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