Qatar Airways to serve 126 destinations by end-March

  • 2 months   ago
Qatar Airways
State-owned Qatar Airways is planning to ramp up the number of destinations it serves to 126 by the end of March, up from around 100 today, in line with post-Covid-19 recovery plan.
 
The airline has been gradually rebuilding its network since the middle of the year, a process that was sped up by the lifting of all flight restrictions by the Qatari government on 1 September.
 
 
Qatar Airways currently operates more than 700 flights per week to over 100 destinations worldwide. But the national carrier aims to expand its services to 126 destinations by the end of the International Air Transport Association (Iata) winter season on 27 March. These will include 20 destinations in Africa, 11 in the Americas, 42 in Asia-Pacific, 38 in Europe and 15 in the Middle East.
 
The Iata winter season typically begins on the last Sunday of October and ends on the last Saturday of March.
 
Qatar Airways began restricting flights in February, when the Covid-19 outbreak was still largely limited to China. Flights to mainland China ceased on 3 February. Around six weeks later, on 18 March, Qatar banned all inbound international flights in response to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
 
Yet, despite the restrictions, the airline continued to operate a limited service to at least 30 destinations from Qatar's Hamad International Airport in Doha. Many of these were repatriation flights taking foreign nationals back to their home countries. This number has since risen gradually since as thecontrols eased.
 
In addition to its old routes, however, the state carrier has also launched flights to new destinations. The latest of these are to Nigeria's capital city Abuja. The airline will operate three flights per week between Doha and Abuja via Lagos starting from 27 November. Qatar airways will also add a weekly flight to and from Angola's capital city Luanda starting December. The route was initially scheduled to begin in March this year, but was delayed due to the virus. By mid-December, the airline plans to operate over 65 weekly flights to 20 destinations in Africa.
 
The state-owned carrier has also added a new route between Doha and San Francisco - its ninth US destination - and last week signed a code share agreement with Air Canada to increase connectivity between Doha and Toronto. The first code share flight is set to operate on 15 December.
 
Throughout the crisis, Qatar Airways has been doing its utmost to both maintain and increase its global market share. This is reflected in the fact that it did not reduce the number of flights it operated as aggressively as its regional peers.
 
The launch of new routes and the resumption of flights should support demand for air travel and jet fuel in the country, providing some much needed respite for the region's aviation industry which is facing the worst crisis in its history as a result to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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