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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Qatar Airways embarks on major Indian expansion

QATAR. Qatar Airways has announced further expansion to its Indian network with a +20% increase in frequency covering the cities of Delhi, Cochin and Amritsar from next month.

From 1 September the number of flights to the northern Indian city of Amritsar will rise from four-a-week to daily. The expansion comes less than a year after Qatar Airways launched flights to Amritsar.

The southern Indian city of Cochin, currently served daily, will get an additional four flights a week – two from 1 September and the other two from 5 November.

The beginning of the Northern Winter flying programme on 31 October will see the Doha–Delhi route securing an additional daily flight, taking capacity to the Indian capital to 14 services a week.

With a total of 14 additional flights being phased in over a period of two months, Qatar Airways’ capacity to India will increase from 74 to 88 services each week. The Doha-based airline currently flies to 11 cities across India: Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Trivandrum, Kozhikode, Ahmedabad, Goa, Delhi, Amritsar and Cochin.

With the new additional flights each of the 11 Indian destinations will be served daily non-stop, except Delhi and Cochin, which will have a double daily service and 11 flights a week, respectively.

India is by far Qatar Airways’ single biggest market by number of destinations served, and the country alone makes up over 10% of the airline’s international network, Qatar Airways said.

The beginning of the Northern Winter flying programme on 31 October will see an additional daily flight to Delhi (left), taking capacity to the Indian capital to 14 services a week, while Cochin (right) will get an additional four flights a week
Each of the Indian flights offers connections via Qatar Airways’ Doha hub to and from the airline’s network of flights across the Middle East, Europe, Africa and North America.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “We are pleased to announce additional frequencies to Delhi, Cochin, and Amritsar from September, which further cements our commitment to the Indian market.

“Since last year and taking into account the new upcoming frequencies, we will have stepped up capacity to India from 56 to 88 services a week, which represents a remarkable +57% increase in frequency to and from India.

“India is a very important market for us, as we are able to offer a large selection of destinations and very convenient connection times to numerous global cities that Qatar Airways serves from Doha,” added Al Baker.

“These are exciting times for Qatar Airways. With these frequency increases in India, and six new recently announced upcoming routes, we look forward to further global expansion to even more exciting destinations between October and January.”

During a four-month period from October 2010, the airline’s passenger route network will rise to almost 100 destinations. The additions of Phuket (12 October), Hanoi (1 November), Nice (24 November), Bucharest (17 January), Budapest (17 January) and Brussels (31 January) provide even more travel options for passengers to and from India, with a stop in Doha.

Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 87 aircraft to 92 diverse business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, South Asia, North America and South America.

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