Following the recent successful round of air service bilateral discussions between the governments of Qatar and India, Qatar Airways is pleased to announce that it will be expanding services to India from next month by launching flights to New Delhi and increasing capacity on existing services.The bilaterals concluded with Qatar Airways being allowed to almost double the number of weekly seats which it can offer between Qatar and India. Qatar Airways currently operates 19 scheduled flights a week between Doha, the airline’s operational hub in the State of Qatar, spread across four Indian destinations - Cochin, Trivandrum, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
This summer, the airline will increase capacity to India with 11 additional flights a week taking the number of services to 30 across five Indian cities. From 14 July 2005, award-winning Qatar Airways will add the capital, New Delhi, to its Indian route map with seven services a week.
The route will initially be operated with an Airbus A320 in a two-class configuration of 12 seats in Business and 132 in Economy. The Delhi route will offer excellent connections over Doha to and from European and Middle East cities served by Qatar Airways. The Delhi route will later be upgraded to a widebody Airbus A330 in a three-class configuration of First Class, Business and Economy, featuring Qatar Airways’ revolutionary interactive Audio Video On Demand inflight entertainment system and premium cabin seats that convert into flat beds.
Qatar Airways is also expanding capacity on existing routes to India. From July 15, the Mumbai route will increase from six services a week to daily with the introduction of a new Friday night flight from Doha. Cochin, currently served three-times-a-week, will be boosted with two additional weekly departures, on Mondays and Wednesdays from Doha, beginning on July 18. Three days later, on July 21, a fourth weekly frequency will be added to the Hyderabad schedules with the launch of an early morning Thursday flight.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said he was delighted that the airline was spreading its long-awaited Five Star service to New Delhi.
“Delhi has been on our radar screens for many years and I am extremely pleased to say we are now finally able to launch scheduled flights to India’s political capital,” he said.
“I would like to thank the Indian and Qatari authorities for working so diligently to make this route happen. India has been enjoying an economic boom with capacity for air seats unable to meet the high demand.
“The Indian government has been extremely pro-active in recent months in opening up the skies to more services, and I applaud their approach to make the aviation environment to and from India more competitive.”
“Our new Delhi flights and additional capacity going into Mumbai, Hyderabad and Cochin will help meet the demand, particularly during the summer rush and also help grow our overall business and leisure traffic to India.”
Al Baker added that Qatar Airways would further increase capacity to India to fulfill its permitted quota of services as new aircraft are introduced into the fleet. Qatar Airways currently operates scheduled flights from Doha to 65 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and the Far East. The airline will add the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, to its growing list of destinations from November 15.
Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 40 all-Airbus aircraft, which will almost double within a few years. Earlier this month, Al Baker announced plans at the Paris Air Show for Qatar Airways to acquire up to 80 aircraft, comprising 60 of the new generation A350s and 20 Boeing 777s worth a total US$15.2 billion. The airline is one of the launch customers of the twin-deck A380 ‘super jumbos’ with four aircraft on order and scheduled for delivery from 2009 to coincide with the opening of the New Doha International Airport.
Qatar Airways recently retained its status as one of only a select-few Five Star-ranked airlines in the world by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency. Skytrax also named Qatar Airways’ cabin crew as Best in the Middle East for the third year running and fifth best in the world following a survey of more than 12 million passengers worldwide, while the airline also maintained its position as among the world’s top 10 carriers.