Qatar Airways has implemented a codeshare agreement with bmi to increase its presence in the UK and continental Europe.
The deal effectively extends Qatar Airways’ reach in the UK and Irish markets to seven additional destinations and a further two on the European mainland using feeder services of bmi.
Qatar Airways, the national carrier of Qatar, currently flies from Doha in the Arabian Gulf to 53 destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and the Far East.
Under the new agreement, Qatar Airways’ QR designated flight code between Doha, capital of the State of Qatar, and both London Heathrow and Manchester, will be applied on selected onward bmi routes.
Passengers flying on Qatar Airways’ double daily London Heathrow flights can connect onto bmi services to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, Leeds, Teeside, Brussels and Amsterdam, and passengers travelling on the airline’s Manchester route, served four times a week from Doha, can connect onto bmi’s onward flights to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.
Passengers benefit from through check-in to their final destination with boarding passes issued at the departure airport.
Announcing the partnership at the World Travel Market in London, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, Akbar Al Baker said the codeshare agreement reinforced the airline’s commitment to developing a strong European network of flights operated with dedicated services and through partner airlines.
“Having bmi as a codeshare partner significantly enhances Qatar Airways’ presence in UK regional markets and on the Continent,” he said.
“Our flights in and out of London Heathrow and Manchester have excellent connections with bmi on nine key routes offering passengers a truly seamless service.”
bmi Chief Executive Officer, Nigel Turner added: “bmi is delighted to spread the reach of our regional services, as well as some in Europe through this agreement with Qatar Airways.
“It will ensure that the benefit of our connecting services will be sold and marketed in a very important part of the world and provide travellers with all the benefits of a through check-in service. We look forward to working with a carrier that has the same high standards and values to those of bmi.”
Qatar Airways already has codeshare agreements in place with Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Alitalia, Garuda Indonesia, Thai Airways, Philippine Airlines, Biman Bangladesh, Middle East Airlines, Yemenia and a ticketing arrangement with SNCF French Railways.
Over the next four weeks, Beijing, Seychelles, London Gatwick will be added to the network, followed in January by Johannesburg, Cape Town and Yangon, increasing Qatar Airways’ global reach from 53 to 59 destinations. By the end of 2005, the airline will operate to at least 70 destinations, including cities in North America and Australia.