Qatar Airways Cargo has expanded its international operations with the introduction of a third aircraft into its freighter fleet and the launch of seven new cargo-only destinations.The Airbus A300-600F took to the skies following its conversion from a passenger to a cargo aircraft. Earlier this year, Qatar Airways Cargo introduced its second freighter as part of a long-term strategy to develop an international network of cargo flights.
With the addition of the third freighter, Qatar Airways Cargo has significantly increased the number of destinations it serves worldwide from 9 to 16 cities. During the past six months alone, the freighter network has been transformed radically with new destinations and a new-look cargo warehouse at Doha International Airport.
The new destinations are Algiers, Tunis, Milan, Istanbul, Karachi, Colombo and Johor Bahru in Malaysia. They supplement other destinations already in the network - Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Khartoum, Dubai, Nairobi, Bangalore, Chennai, Lahore and Dhaka.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said that cargo represented a vital component of the airline’s global operations.
“We have a clear strategy to develop our passenger side of the business to key business and leisure destinations worldwide. Similarly, we are building our cargo operation to key markets around the world using Doha as a key hub,” he said.
“We will, over the next two years increase our cargo operation further as more A300 freighters are introduced and the first of our two new Boeing 777 freighters are delivered. These are scheduled for delivery from Summer 2009.”
To cope with the increase in business, arising from the rapid expansion of Qatar Airways’ fleet, the cargo division has expanded its warehouse facilities. The 40% increase in space includes a new import and export warehouse, cold storage and freezer facilities. Qatar Airways Cargo recently relocated its operational offices to the airport.
Qatar won the accolade for Middle East’s Leading Business Class Airline at the World Travel Awards in 2006