Qatar Airways has announced plans to operate scheduled flights to the southwest Indian coastal city of Kozhikode - the airline’s third gateway in the state of Kerala - beginning June 15.Formerly known as Calicut, the city is Kerala’s third largest with a population of almost 500,000 people and is home to serene beaches, historic sites, lush green scenery and world-renowned Ayurvedic health treatments - a haven for holidaymakers seeking adventure and relaxation.
Qatar Airways will operate daily non-stop services between Doha, capital of the State of Qatar, and Kozhikode using an Airbus A320 aircraft. The airline already serves Cochin and Trivandrum in Kerala and a further six cities across India.
With a current capacity of 51 flights a week spread across Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Cochin, Trivandrum, Nagpur and Hyderabad, Qatar Airways operates an extensive network of services throughout the country. The addition of Kozhikode, its ninth destination in India, takes the airline’s frequency into the country up to 58 flights a week.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the latest route announcement reinforced the airline’s commitment to expand its award-winning Five Star service across India.
“India today is by far the largest single market for Qatar Airways with a network of eight, and, soon nine cities served non-stop from Doha,” he said.
“An economic powerhouse rapidly developing its infrastructure across all industries, India is enjoying tremendous growth. Aviation is just one of the key sectors benefiting from such development and Qatar Airways is delighted to be part of this economic growth facilitating travel to and from India.
“During 2007 alone Qatar Airways launched three new routes to India. Our new services to Kozhikode will only strengthen our position in this highly important market.
“There is a large concentration of expatriates from Kerala living and working in the Gulf region, and together with tourists from across Europe and other parts of the world, Qatar Airways looks forward to welcoming passengers on our new services to make it a highly successful launch into our third gateway in Kerala.”
Added Al Baker: “The addition of Kozhikode demonstrates our long-term commitment to India and we look forward to developing our network further across India as we explore new route opportunities to give the travelling public even more choice.”
Kerala State is one of the most desirable holiday destinations in Asia - a perfect retreat for holidaymakers looking to relax with the world-renowned Ayurvedic health treatment centres. It is also home to fascinating emerald backwaters, waterfalls, exotic wildlife, together with sprawling plantations and has the highest literacy rate of almost 100 per cent than anywhere else in India.
Qatar Airways will offer daily connections from London Heathrow and Gatwick and three connections a week from Manchester to Kozhikode for passengers from the UK via its Doha hub. Return economy fares cost from £497.50 including taxes and charges. The airline currently operates a modern fleet of 62 Airbus and Boeing aircraft to 82 destinations worldwide.