United Airlines today announced it is strengthening its passenger and cargo service to the Middle East, one of the world’s most rapidly growing business regions, by adding more flights between Washington, D.C., and Kuwait City and by signing a codeshare agreement with Qatar Airways.Customer response to United’s Kuwait service has been so strong that United is increasing the service to daily from its current three weekly flights. In October 2006, United became the first U.S. carrier to offer commercial service to Kuwait when it launched nonstop, capital-to-capital flights between Washington, D.C., and Kuwait City.
The new flights will be available for sale on Thursday, June 28, with the additional service beginning January 2, 2008.
Pending regulatory approval, United’s codeshare with Qatar Airways, a premier Middle East airline, will give United customers more options to the Middle East, as well as South and Southeast Asia. For the first time ever, United customers will have service to five countries new to United’s offerings, including destinations such as Doha, Qatar; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Male, Maldives; and Peshawar, Pakistan.
“The Middle East is one of the fastest growing business regions in the world, and our customers tell us they want more service, with convenient schedules, to this emerging destination,” says Michael Whitaker, United’s senior vice president of Alliances, International and Regulatory Affairs. “We are pleased to give our customers what they want by increasing our own flights to Kuwait, and by partnering with Qatar Airways to offer flights to five countries we’ve never before served.”
Under the codeshare agreement, United Mileage Plus(R) members now will be able to redeem miles in addition to accruing them when traveling on Qatar’s flights. The agreement also complements the cargo agreement already in place between the two carriers, and United’s increased service to Kuwait will enhance the carrier’s cargo capacity into the region. Since early 2006, United and Qatar have enjoyed a strategic cargo relationship through which the airlines have carried more than 600,000 kilos (1.3 million pounds) of general freight and over 2 million kilos (4 million pounds) of mail since its inception.
United customers will continue to earn 500 bonus miles each time they purchase qualifying travel at united.com, which also offers no booking fees and the guaranteed lowest United fares.