Qatar Airways has launched its inaugural service to the Turkish capital Ankara. When the flight QR462 touched down at Esenboga International Airport on Monday night, the aircraft was welcomed by a dramatic water salute.
By adding four non-stop services a week between Doha and Ankara, the new route strengthens the airline’s operations in Turkey, where it already operates daily flights to Istanbul.
On board the maiden flight into Ankara was Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker, who led a high-profile delegation, including the Chairman of Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority, Abdul Aziz Al Noaimi, and key media from across the Middle East.
Qatar Airways is the only Gulf carrier flying to Ankara, operating an Airbus A320 with 12 seats in Business Class and 132 in Economy.
Ankara becomes the award-winning airline’s 88th destination and third new route of 2010. Over the past few weeks, the airline launched scheduled flights from Doha to both Bengaluru (Bangalore) and Copenhagen.
Addressing the media at the Sheraton Hotel in Ankara, Al Baker said: “We are delighted to add Ankara into our international route network and further consolidate our presence in Turkey, clearly proving how important this dynamic market is for Qatar Airways.
“Since we entered Turkey in 2004 with flights to Istanbul, the route’s performance has exceeded our expectations year on year.
“We are confident that our new service to Ankara will be equally as successful helping facilitate travel to and from this wonderful city and beyond for both the business travel community and leisure travellers.”
The new route comes at a time of strong trade between Qatar and Turkey, whose relations have grown from strength to strength and which go beyond political and economic ties.
Added Al Baker: “Commercial ties between Qatar and the Republic of Turkey remain strong and continue to grow year on year. The two countries very much share the same cultural values and have a like-minded vision, with deep rooted relations, increased bilateral ties and growing commercial exchanges.”
From Qatar Airways Doha hub, passengers can connect to an exciting range of business and leisure destinations across the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and South Asia. These include Maldives, Johannesburg, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Osaka, Delhi, Muscat and Melbourne.
For foreign visitors to Turkey, the new route to Ankara is an ideal gateway when visiting, for example, the famous Cappadocian region, best known for its moon-like landscape with underground cities and houses carved in rocks.
Passengers flying Qatar Airways’ First Class or Business Class through Doha onto connecting cities with the airline will be able to transit through the airline’s exclusive Premium Teminal, where they can unwind and relax enjoying creature comforts of the facilites, including fine dining, spa treatments and duty free shopping. Ankara is one of Qatar Airways’ seven new routes for 2010.
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