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Posted On: 9 October 2011 07:53 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:11 pm

Oslo flight to boost trade ties: al-Baker

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Qatar Airways chief executive officer (CEO) Akbar al-Baker has reinforced the strategic importance of the airline’s ongoing expansion in Scandinavia following its latest route launch to Oslo. The October 5 start-up of scheduled flights to Norway’s capital complements the airline’s existing services to Stockholm and Copenhagen with the Gulf carrier now flying to three key points in Northern Europe. “The new route promises to be a strong catalyst to enhance bilateral trade between Norway and the state of Qatar, and the Middle East in general,” Qatar Airways CEO said. There is significant Norwegian private sector interest in Qatar. The world’s largest aluminium plant, Qatalum, is based in Qatar. The multi-million dollar joint venture is between Qatar Petroleum and the Norwegian company, Norsk Hydro. “Public demand, huge tourism opportunities and our common trade interests in oil and gas played an important part in Qatar Airways’ decision to open up this new route between our Doha hub and Oslo,” said al-Baker during a press conference in the Norwegian capital. “With many Norwegian companies having business interests in the Gulf, we believe this new route will help fuel business even further. More than 400 Norwegians reside in Qatar so now they have a great new direct route home. “Launching flights to Oslo is yet another example of our commitment to the Scandinavian market, boosting commercial and economic ties between the region and the Middle East and beyond. The route will clearly facilitate travel for Norwegian businessmen and holidaymakers who, for so long, have had very little travel options. “We are confident the Norwegian travelling public will welcome our new service, which brings exciting holiday as well as vibrant business destinations closer to Norway through convenient and easy connections via Doha, avoiding the need to travel via congested European airports to get to their desired destination.” The expansion widens Qatar Airways’ reach in Scandinavia, cementing the carrier’s’ positioning in the Nordic countries. Doha - Oslo is served five-times-a-week by Qatar Airways, while Stockholm and Copenhagen are each operated daily non-stop from the Qatari capital. Qatar Airways has the biggest capacity of any Gulf carrier serving Scandinavia, a market the Doha-based airline entered in 2007 with the launch of flights to the Swedish capital Stockholm, reinforced with services to Denmark’s capital city started 18 months ago. All three destinations in Scandinavia – Norway, Denmark and Sweden – are operated with twin-aisle Airbus A330s, offering up to 24 seats in business class and 236 in economy. Oslo is Qatar Airways’ seventh new European destination launched this year following a major expansion drive by the airline on the Continent. This year has already seen European route launches to Bucharest, Budapest, Brussels, Stuttgart, Venice and Sofia.