Qatar Airways has continued its European expansion drive launching scheduled flights to Brussels with Belgium’s Prime Minister officially welcoming the inaugural service to Europe’s capital city.
Flight QR941 arrived at Brussels International Airport to a welcome ceremony attended by the Belgian Premier Yves Leterme, government officials and local dignitaries.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker led a high-profile delegation on the inaugural non-stop flight from the airline’s operational hub in Doha, capital of the State of Qatar. Onboard guests included Belgium’s Ambassador to Qatar H.E. Luc Devolder and media from Qatar, Dubai, India and Singapore.
The addition of Brussels strengthens Qatar Airways’ European presence to 24 destinations, representing 25 per cent of the carrier’s global network that also spans the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and North and South America.
Brussels becomes the third new European destination launched by the airline this month following on the heels of the Hungarian capital, Budapest, and Romania’s capital city, Bucharest. The latest route launch edges Qatar Airways closer towards the milestone 100 destinations with Brussels becoming the carrier’s 98th network point.
Speaking on arrival in Brussels, Al Baker said: “Today marks yet another historic moment for Qatar Airways as we enter a new market flying to Europe’s capital city.
“Brussels Airport and local authorities have been extremely supportive, believing in Qatar Airways and giving us the opportunity to fly direct to this wonderful capital city. In doing so, we are able to provide business and leisure travellers with an alternative travel option and great choice of diverse destinations to fly to via our hub in Doha.
“Be it Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo, Hanoi, Phuket, Mumbai, Goa, Dubai, Muscat, Johannesburg or Melbourne, our network of cities offers convenience, comfort and a seamless travel experience for our customers from Belgium, so too for our passengers flying to Brussels from across our international network via Doha.”
Brussels Airport Company Chief Executive Officer Arnaud Feist added: “Qatar Airways’ new route from Brussels to Doha offers a comfortable and efficient link to the Gulf region and beyond. This new service will be much welcomed by business and leisure passengers travelling to a broad choice of Qatar Airways’ onward destinations in the Middle East and Asia Pacific.
“Brussels Airport shares the airline’s passion for service quality and we would like to thank them for including Brussels into their network.”
Qatar Airways is the only Gulf-based airline with a Five Star ranking flying to Brussels – the Capital of Europe – being one of the most international cities in the world with over a quarter of its population being foreigners and home to the headquarters of the European Parliament, European Commission and Council for Ministers of the European Union.
A blend of picturesque medieval streets, inspiring architecture, scores of museums, bustling boulevards and varied cultural influences makes up the sprawling metropolis of Brussels, which is home to over one million people.
The Doha – Brussels route is served with a wide body Airbus A330 featuring up to 30 seats in Business Class and up to 275 seats in Economy. The aircraft offers seatback TV screens providing passengers with the next generation interactive onboard entertainment system featuring a choice of more than 900 audio and video on demand options.
To mark the latest route launch, Qatar Airways’ loyalty programme Privilege Club is offering introductory promotions on the route. Members will earn 6,000 bonus Qmiles for every return trip to and from Brussels when flying Business Class or up to 3,000 bonus Qmiles in Economy Class, for all travel by 30 April 2011. In addition, members can redeem online for 25 per cent less the required Qmiles on the Doha – Brussels route for travel before 30 April 2011.
On March 6, Qatar Airways adds Stuttgart to its global network, followed on April 6 with new flights to the historic Syrian city of Aleppo – the airline’s milestone 100th destination.
By 2013, Qatar Airways plans to serve more than 120 key business and leisure destinations worldwide with a modern fleet of over 120 aircraft. Today, the airline’s fleet stands at 94 aircraft, flying to destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North and South America.