Following the recent open skies policy announced by the Indian government, award-winning Qatar Airways is almost tripling the number of weekly non-stop flights between Doha, capital of the State of Qatar, and India.
From 19 flights a week spread across four Indian cities - Mumbai, Cochin, Trivandrum and Hyderabad - the airline is sharply raising frequency to 51 services a week from November 1.
The increased capacity to each of the four Indian destinations served from Doha will be effective until 31 March 2005.
Flights to India’s commercial capital Mumbai are increasing from six services a week to 13; the southern Indian city of Cochin sees capacity rise from three to 13 weekly flights; Trivandrum’s daily operation goes up to 13 flights a week; and the burgeoning IT centre of Hyderabad sees the number of flights increase from three services a week to 12.
All flights are operated in two-class configured Airbus A300s and A320s.
As a result of the extra flights, more passengers will be able to enjoy Qatar Airways’ award-winning service. The airline has secured a string of accolades this year, including best cabin crew in the Middle East and the prestigious Five Star ranking, only the third carrier to receive the award for service and excellence given by Skytrax, an independent aviation quality monitoring agency.
For the second year running, the Indian government has relaxed its policy on capacity restrictions to foreign airlines by opening up the skies for a five-month period over the busy holiday season.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, Akbar Al Baker said: “We welcome the Indian government’s decision because capacity has traditionally been restricted and this move is a step in the right direction to provide greater competition and to serve the raveling public, potentially paving the way for an open skies policy year round.”
“We currently serve four cities in India, one of the world’s biggest travel markets. We are unable to satisfy the huge demand because our Indian routes are so popular. If we had even more capacity, we would be able to serve the raveling public much better.
“Our aim is to simply serve all international airports in India. This is a country with huge potential and we want to have a good slice of the market.”
Added Al Baker: “The Indian government’s decision is a real boost to our aspirations to offer more frequency and serve more Indian destinations. More flights mean greater choice for our passengers.”
Al Baker explained that the new schedules offered excellent connections from Qatar Airways’ growing European and Middle East network to India via Doha.
In addition, Qatar Airways operates cargo flights from Doha to Delhi three times a week and Chennai twice-weekly using an A300 freighter.