Qatar Airways has expanded operations in China with the launch of scheduled flights to Chongqing.
The launch is the fifth new Chinese destination added to schedules at the airline this year and the 15th route start-up overall.
Flight QR848 arrived at Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport to an impressive water salute following its non-stop journey from the airline’s operational hub of Doha, capital of the Qatar.
Passengers and operating crew were given a red carpet arrival by airport officials.
The new thrice-weekly flights join Qatar Airways’ four other Chinese destinations – Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
Chongqing is the fifth Chinese destination added to Qatar Airways’ schedule in 2011
With Chongqing’s huge industrial catchments area in central western China, Qatar Airways saw the potential to operate to the city, underserved by international airlines.
Main local industries in Chongqing are centered on consumer goods and the processing of food, automobiles, chemicals, textiles and machinery. The city is also the largest in China for the production of motorcycles and third biggest for motor vehicles.
Qatar Airways chief executive officer Akbar Al Baker said the new Chongqing flights reflected the importance of China’s growing economy in the eyes of the world.
“Qatar Airways has been closely monitoring the dynamic Chinese market and looking at viable opportunities,” he said, adding, “we are extremely delighted to spread our award-winning services to our fifth Chinese gateway with our latest route.
“Qatar Airways is demonstrating confidence of doing business with partners in China and the opening of Chongqing, particularly being an up-and-coming city, shows our commitment to a vibrant economy.”
Qatar Airways flight crew disembark at Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport following the inaugural non-stop flight from Doha
Chongqing becomes the 110th destination in Qatar Airways’ global network.
More than 25 per cent of the airline’s routes are across Asia.
The Chongqing route is operated with an Airbus A330 in a two-class configuration of up to 248 seats in Economy and up to 36 in Business Class.
Qatar Airways is considered as offering the Middle East’s Leading Airline Business Class by the World Travel Awards.