will make Nagpur the airline’s newest Indian destination this summer.The airline plans to fly non-stop scheduled services between its operational hub of Doha, capital of the State of Qatar, and the central Indian city of Nagpur in the State of Maharashtra.
The Nagpur route will be operated with an Airbus A320 in a two-class configuration of 12 seats in Business Class and 132 in Economy.
Qatar Airways currently operates 30 flights a week between Qatar and five cities across India.
Delhi, Mumbai and Trivandrum are each served with seven flights a week; Hyderabad four times a week; and Cochin five times weekly.
Speaking at a press conference in New Delhi today, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said Nagpur was an unknown destination on the global map, but with few airlines serving the industrial city, there was incredible potential.
“Nagpur is underserved both domestically and internationally by air carriers,” he said, adding, “but this extremely resource-rich region of Maharashtra offers tremendous business opportunities as it is also one of India’s largest inland container transport hubs.
“With the creation of an economic zone and a new airport project underway in Nagpur, Qatar Airways is delighted to expand its Indian services by introducing Nagpur to the summer schedules and growing international operations.”
“Our flights in and out of India have proved extremely successful and the addition of Nagpur will greatly enhance our product offering to the travelling public to and from India.”
Al Baker praised the Indian government for taking positive steps towards a more liberal approach in opening up the aviation industry and encourage greater international competition. He said Qatar Airways was exploring other Indian destinations which he expected would open up under future bilateral arrangements between Qatar and India.
During the winter months, he said the Indian authorities permitted Qatar Airways to operate additional frequency and introduce bigger aircraft to and from its five Indian gateway cities as steps towards full liberalisation.
Al Baker also announced that Qatar Airways would be expanding its global network further during 2006 with at least 10 new routes, boosting its current network of 69 destinations worldwide.