Qatar Airways, one of the world’s fastest-growing airlines, achieved yet another milestone yesterday as it launched daily flights between Doha and Barcelona – its 90th destination.
With the touchdown of flight QR067 in Barcelona, where the aircraft was welcomed by a dramatic water salute and met by senior airport officials and local dignitaries, the airline reinforced its position as the only Gulf carrier flying to Spain.
Barcelona is Qatar Airways’ second city served in Spain, after Madrid, and is expected to receive great response from leisure and business travellers alike. The new route underscores a growing commitment by the airline to the Spanish market following earlier capacity increases to the country’s capital city of Madrid last year.
As Spain’s second largest city, Barcelona is a popular tourist centre on the Mediterranean coastline. It is home to one of Europe’s main ports and has a thriving economic base due largely to its importance in finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts and international trade. According to official tourism data, 52 million tourists visit Spain every year, making it one of the most visited countries in the world.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said that as a result of Spain’s escalating demand for air travel combined with the great popularity of the country among travellers from the Middle East and Asia, the Doha-based airline has steadily built up its presence in Spain.
“The launch of flights to Barcelona – our 90th destination in our ever-growing network is truly a milestone for Qatar Airways,” he said.
“Barcelona is a vibrant city with incredible appeal among leisure and business travellers, and we are confident that our new daily flights will be equally successful as our daily services to Madrid.”
Added Al Baker: “With 14 flights a week now operating to Spain, this reflects the high demand we have been experiencing in and out of the region, helped by increased economic ties between the Middle East and the Iberian Peninsula.”
The city is the fifth new destination launched by Qatar Airways so far during 2010. Over the past six months, the carrier has introduced services to Bengaluru (Bangalore), Copenhagen, Ankara and Tokyo.
Beginning June 24, Qatar Airways will serve the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo and the Argentine capital Buenos Aires with daily scheduled flights direct from Doha. The addition of South America will ensure Qatar Airways becomes a truly global airline – a remarkable feat in just 13 years since its launch.
Qatar Airways’ renowned service has received numerous international accolades for its high service standards and great hospitality. The independent aviation industry audit Skytrax recently voted Qatar Airways as the World’s 3rd Best Airline at the annual Skytrax Airline Awards 2010 and named Qatar Airways as Best Airline in the Middle East for the fifth consecutive year.
Passengers flying First Class or Business Class through Doha onto connecting cities with Qatar Airways will be able to transit through the airline’s exclusive Premium Terminal, where they can unwind and relax enjoying creature comforts of the facilities, including fine dining, spa treatments and duty free shopping.
Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 83 aircraft to 90 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and North America.
On the Doha – Barcelona route, Qatar Airways operates an Airbus A319 in a two-class configuration of 8 seats in Business Class and 102 in Economy.