Qatar Airways has announced a major expansion in South Africa with the launch of a new destination Durban while simultaneously increasing its weekly frequencies to Johannesburg.
The airline will also increase its weekly frequency to Cape Town going up from five flights a week to a daily service.
Effective from December 17th 2015, the airline will launch four new weekly flights to Durban via Johannesburg bringing the total frequency to Johannesburg up from ten weekly flights to a double-daily service.
From October 1st 2015, Qatar Airways will be operating daily flights to Cape Town ahead of the busy 2015/16 winter travel season, an increase from five weekly flights this winter.
Durban will be Qatar Airways’ third route to South Africa following Johannesburg and Cape Town, both of which started in January 2005.
All three routes will be operated with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Durban is the second most important manufacturing hub in South Africa after Johannesburg with the presence of a number of major multi-national companies and is also famous for being the busiest port in the African continent.
It is also seen as one of the main centres of tourism because of the city’s warm subtropical climate and extensive beaches and is an exciting holiday destination thanks to its luxury resorts and adventure sports opportunities.
Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker said: “At Qatar Airways we strive to provide our passengers with the best of service levels on the ground and on board our modern fleet.
“We also provide our passengers with a strong global network of business and leisure destinations, and the city of Durban will be a welcome new addition to our extensive route map.
“Durban is an important gateway into South Africa and we are very confident that this route will be warmly welcomed like all our other routes in the African continent.”
Africa is key to Qatar Airways’ global network expansion strategy and the airline currently operates 140 flights per week to 19 African gateways.
Since 2011 the airline has added the following African destinations to its global route network: Entebbe (Uganda); Kigali (Rwanda); Kilimanjaro (Tanzania); Maputo (Mozambique); Addis Ababa (Ethiopia); Djibouti International Airport (Djibouti) and Asmara (Eritrea).
Qatar Airways’ Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be deployed on the new Durban route which offers passengers 254 seats across its Business and Economy Class, with its seats in Business Class reclining to 180-degree fully flat beds.
The airline’s 787s are the world’s first fully connected Dreamliners with wireless facilities enabling all passengers to remain in touch with friends and colleagues on the ground through the internet or SMS mobile texting.
The 787 Dreamliners complement the ultra-luxurious customer service and experience Qatar Airways delivers to its passengers.
Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 18 years of operation, to the point where today it is flying a modern fleet of 147 aircraft to 146 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.