Qatar Airways will fly to three new destinations - Bangalore, Tokyo and Ankara - over an eight-week period from February 2010.
Bangalore will be the first of the three launches, with daily flights beginning in February.
The addition of Bangalore will take Qatar Airways’ Indian capacity up to 71 flights a week spread across 11 cities.
In April, Ankara will be added to Qatar Airways’ burgeoning route network, further strengthening the airline’s position in Turkey where it already operates daily flights to Istanbul.
At the end of April, Tokyo will be served daily via Osaka, representing a significant increase in capacity for the Japanese market.
Seoul, which is currently served via Osaka, will become a non-stop direct service from the end of March.
Qatar Airways chief executive officer Akbar al-Baker said the route expansion further demonstrated the airline’s long-term strategy to develop its international network.
Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 75 aircraft to 85 diverse business and leisure cities across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Far East, North America and Australasia with plans to top 120 destinations worldwide by 2013.
“At a time when airlines globally are retrenching, cutting capacity, trimming staff, parking planes, or cancelling aircraft orders altogether, Qatar Airways is doing exactly the opposite, remaining well on track to offer the travelling public with greater choice of flights and destinations,” said al-Baker.
“Tokyo is Japan’s commercial and financial centre and has been on Qatar Airways’ wish list of destinations for a number of years. It is only now that we are able to serve Tokyo due to new traffic rights and slot availability at the city’s main Narita International Airport.
“The announcement of our new Bangalore services follows our successful launch of flights to Goa and Amritsar, further cementing Qatar Airways’ position in the Indian market.
“India has been, and remains, one of our most important markets and we are pleased to be strengthening economic and cultural ties with one of the world’s fastest growing economies. With the growth of the Indian economy into a potential global powerhouse and Qatar’s drive to spread its economic wings globally, increasing air links between the two countries is of paramount importance.
“And with four-flights-a-week to Ankara, Qatar Airways will significantly increase capacity to Turkey. Our daily flights to Istanbul route have been performing exceptionally well and by adding another destination in this popular country for business and leisure travellers, we look forward to facilitating traffic to and from Turkey.
“Our planning department continues to work actively to identify new route opportunities worldwide. With more than one new aircraft joining our growing fleet every month, we carefully deploy our capacity on existing routes and new routes to meet market needs,” al-Baker said.
“Tokyo, Bangalore and Ankara are examples of our confidence in deploying aircraft to exciting destinations and provide our passengers around the world with great connections over our Doha hub. The fact that we are launching three new routes within the space of eight weeks is indicative of how serious we are in being a key player in the global airline industry despite the current economic conditions,” he added.
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