Qatar Airways unveils aggressive expansion plans
Qatar Airways Group chief executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, unveiled the airline’s aggressive expansion plans and 16 new destinations for 2018-2019 during a press conference at travel expo ITB Berlin.
Al Baker announced a raft of forthcoming global destinations for the airline in line with its expedited expansion plans, including the announcement that Qatar Airways will be the first Gulf carrier to begin direct service to Luxembourg.
Other new destinations to be launched by the airline include London Gatwick, Cardiff, Lisbon, Tallinn, Valletta, Cebu, Davao, Langkawi, Da Nang, Bodrum, Antalya, Hatay, Mykonos, Thessaloniki and Málaga.
In addition, services to Warsaw, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Prague and Kyiv will increase to a double daily frequency, while services to Madrid, Barcelona and the Maldives will increase to triple daily.
“Qatar Airways is tremendously excited to announce further expansion with a significant number of new destinations to be added to our extensive global network throughout 2018 and 2019,” said Al Baker.
“This is a direct reflection of our commitment to connecting travellers across all corners of the world in a way that is meaningful and convenient to them. We are committed to continuing our ambitious growth strategy, in order to be able to provide our passengers with as much choice as possible and to take them anywhere in the world they wish to go.”
His Excellency also spoke passionately about the blockade against Qatar: “During the blockade Qatar Airways continued its expansion; it continued its march ahead. We kept our country supplied and we became prouder as a nation.
“The blockade made my ruler an icon of defiance. Today, we are more independent than we were nine months ago. We are very defiant, and Qatar Airways will keep on expanding and keep on raising the flag for my country all over the globe.”
Further developments for the upcoming year were also discussed, including additions to the airline’s sporting sponsorship portfolio. Qatar Airways is already the official sponsor of many top-level sporting events, including the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar and the FIFA Club World Cup, reflecting the values of sports as a means of bringing people together, something at the core of the airline’s own brand message – Going Places Together.