Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, today hosted a capacity crowd press conference at the Sofitel Hotel in Auckland. Following the arrival of the airline’s first flight to New Zealand yesterday, H.E. Mr. Al Baker took the opportunity to talk about the airline’s expansion in the region and to express his pride in Qatar Airways’ record achievement of the world’s longest direct commercial flight.
Qatar Airways is committed to bringing more visitors to Auckland and boosting tourism to the already popular destination of New Zealand with its new daily flights. The record-breaking route will also give the people of New Zealand the opportunity to connect to more than 150 destinations on the airline’s global network via its hub, Hamad International Airport, in Doha. A video of the record-breaking flight, captured by New Zealand’s leading aerial cinematography specialist Tony Monk, can be seen here.
H.E. Mr. Al Baker said: “We are proud to offer the people of New Zealand the best possible passenger experience when connecting to friends and family across the globe on board the world’s longest commercial flight from Auckland to Doha. The new service will give passengers from New Zealand the opportunity to travel to the more than 150 destinations on our global network where they will arrive feeling more refreshed than ever before thanks to the modern technology and high level of personalised customer service on board.”
Auckland Airport Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Adrian Littlewood, said: “The Qatar Airways service we welcomed to Auckland Airport yesterday will contribute around NZD $198 million to the New Zealand economy each year. The new service provides an exciting new option for visitors to New Zealand and for New Zealanders travelling overseas.”
The addition of Auckland to the airline’s constantly growing network comes on the back of its recent expansion in the region with the launch of new routes to Sydney and Adelaide in 2016. The airline will add to this again in 2017/18 when it plans to include Canberra on its list of gateways in Australasia.
Other new destination launches planned by the airline for 2017/18 including Yanbu and Tabuk in Saudi Arabia; Dublin in the Republic of Ireland; Nice in France; Skopje, the capital of Macedonia; Chiang Mai in the North of Thailand; Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia Herzegovina; Libreville, Gabon; Douala, Cameroon; Rio de Janeiro in Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Canberra, Australia; Medan, Indonesia; and Las Vegas, U.S.
Passengers planning to travel to New Zealand are encouraged to include a stopover in Doha as part of their journey. With a new transit visa scheme offering visitors a free transit visa for up to 96 hours, it is now even easier to combine a quick visit to Doha – with its historic sites, five-star shopping and resorts – with a trip to New Zealand.