(eTN) – With additional East Africa destinations still on hold – the announced flights to Mombasa and Zanzibar are still on ice over suspected traffic right issues – Qatar Airways has announced that they will commence daily flights to Addis Ababa from September 18 of this year.
This was according to a source at the airline made possible following the conclusion of bilateral talks with the Ethiopian government. Qatar Airways intends to use their proven Airbus A320 on the route, which will mark the airline’s 20th destination on the African continent.
Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways CEO, has at the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market, which opened in Dubai yesterday, commented on their new route developments: “Yet again Qatar Airways is bucking the trend across the industry demonstrating that we are resilient in times of global economic austerity because while others are cutting back, we see the opportunities to expand our global footprint. Our three new routes we are announcing today show we have faith in expanding our operations across different continents. This year for example, has certainly been the year of growth in the Middle East with five of our eight scheduled route launches in the region alone. We stepped up capacity to the United States, introducing Chicago as our fourth US gateway last month and will now add Philadelphia next year. Philadelphia is one of the major hubs of the soon-to-be-merged American Airlines/US Airways and will provide Qatar Airways’ customers with onward connections to over 100 cities.
“With the implementation of codeshare agreements with American Airlines and JetBlue which offer numerous connections beyond our US gateways, Qatar Airways is making big strides to strengthen its presence in the United States to ultimately give our passengers greater travel options. Joining the OneWorld global alliance later this year will also present tremendous travel options and benefits to our passengers and to those of partner carriers in the alliance. We have been looking to fly to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa for some time, and are extremely delighted we will be able to do so later this year as new aircraft join the fleet.
“And Clark International Airport in the Philippines provides us with great opportunities to boost our presence in the Greater Manila area and northern region of Luzon Island. This comes as good news for the well-traveled Filipino community with ever-increasing demand for flights to and from the country. We have had a well-established operation in Pakistan for many years, but have always been looking to increase frequency, and now thanks to new agreements in place between the relevant authorities, we can soon enjoy more capacity between Qatar and Pakistan. Our customers can expect more choice from next month when we increase frequency to three key cities in Pakistan.”
Qatar Airways now operates a fleet of 123 aircraft, including 5 B787 Dreamliners and flies daily to Entebbe, Kigali, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, and Kilimanjaro, besides another 121 destinations worldwide. Qatar Airways currently has orders worth over US$50 billion for more than 250 aircraft, including Boeing 787s, 777s, Airbus A350s, A380s, and A320s. In addition to winning Skytrax’s prestigious Airline of the Year 2011 and 2012, Qatar Airways was named Best Airline in the Middle East for the seventh year in a row, and its Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport was recently named Best Premium Service Airport for the third consecutive year. Skytrax is the only global independent passenger survey monitoring airline standards and is considered the ultimate benchmark for excellence in the airline industry. In October 2012, Qatar Airways became the first of the major Gulf carriers to officially announce plans to join a global alliance having been invited into the oneworld group. For more information, visit www.qatarairways.com