Qatar Airways celebrated the launch of scheduled flights to Stuttgart following the arrival of its inaugural service from Doha to the Capital of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany’s sixth largest city and one of the country’s economic powerhouses.
Qatar Airways is the only Gulf carrier and Five Star ranked airline to operate services to Stuttgart, establishing vital links between this highly important German automobile centre and rest of the world through convenient connections via its Doha hub.
Stuttgart becomes the airline’s fourth German gateway and represents the first step in capacity increases across Germany during March, when additional flights to Frankfurt and Munich will be introduced. The Berlin route remains daily non-stop from Doha.
On board the maiden flight to Stuttgart was Qatar Airways’ Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker, who led a high-profile delegation, including the German Ambassador to Qatar, Mrs Anne Ruth Herkes, and key media from across the Gulf.
Following the touchdown of Qatar Airways’ inaugural flight QR937 at Stuttgart Airport, the aircraft was welcomed by a dramatic water salute and met by senior airport officials and local dignitaries.
Addressing guests at the airport ceremony in Stuttgart following the latest European route launch, Al Baker said: “We are delighted to add Stuttgart to our international route network and further enhance our presence in Germany, clearly proving how important this dynamic market is for Qatar Airways.
“Stuttgart, as an attractive business location and driving force behind Germany’s strong economy, is a destination of great appeal and potential for Qatar Airways. The State of Qatar has one of the fastest growing economies in the world and we are delighted to link the two dynamic powerhouses with non-stop flights, fostering business and tourism ties.
“This is the start of a busy week for Qatar Airways in Germany. In three days’ time we will increase the number of flights between Doha and Munich from daily to 11 flights a week. Also on March 9, we will once again be participating in the world’s largest travel show ITB in your capital city of Berlin.
“And towards the end of the month, our Frankfurt route will be upgraded from 10 to 13 flights a week with some of the services operated by our flagship Boeing 777 aircraft. All in all, frequency of flights between Qatar and Germany will rise from 24 to 34 flights a week, our biggest ever capacity increase to Germany in such a short timeframe.”
Stuttgart Airport Managing Director Georg Fundel added: “For travellers from Stuttgart, Qatar Airways offers excellent travel options to a wide range of over attractive 60 destinations. The new route via Doha is highly customer-friendly as it is a quick and convenient connection to the entire Gulf region and destinations beyond
“As gateway to this region, Stuttgart Airport looks forward to welcome travellers from the Middle East and elsewhere, and thanks Qatar Airways for its commitment to include Baden-Wuerttemberg into its route portfolio.”
Passengers from Stuttgart and the surrounding area can connect through Doha International Airport to an exciting range of business and leisure destinations across the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and South Asia.
For visitors to Germany, Stuttgart is an ideal gateway for business or leisure trips with the Black Forest and the beautiful Lake Constance among the key attractions.
The Stuttgart service comes at a time of high economic activity between the State of Qatar and Germany:
Germany is the second largest exporter to Qatar, and Baden-Wuerttemberg takes up a major part of the growing trade exchange. Recently, Qatar made headlines through its investment vehicle in renowned German companies such as Stuttgart-based automobile giant Porsche.
As a major exporter, Baden-Wuerttemberg is well-known internationally for its strong manufacturing industry and innovative medium-sized companies, and has propelled itself to the seventh largest economy in the European Union.
While the automobile, mechanical and electrical engineering industries remain key sectors of Baden-Wuerttemberg, the region has the highest density of scientific, academic and research organisations in Germany, and a number of well-known enterprises such as Robert Bosch AG, Carl Zeiss and SAP AG have their headquarters in the prosperous southwestern part of Germany.
The introduction of thrice-weekly non-stop flights to Stuttgart, together with the airline’s additional German frequencies will take the total number of flights between Qatar and Germany from 24 to 34 services each week.
The Stuttgart route is operated with an Airbus A319 aircraft featuring eight seats in Business Class and 102 in Economy. The aircraft is equipped with the state-of-the-art Oryx Entertainment system offering individual TV touch screens in every seat and over 700 audio video entertainment options.
The aircraft also features OnAir mobile telecommunication technology allowing passengers to send and receive SMS and MMS messages, as well as browse the web using their internet-enabled mobile device.
Stuttgart becomes the award-winning airline’s 99th destination and fourth new route of 2011. In January, the airline expanded its European presence with the launch of scheduled flights from Doha to Bucharest, Budapest and Brussels. With Stuttgart, Qatar Airways now flies to 25 cities across Europe, representing 25 per cent of its global coverage.
The Syrian city of Aleppo becomes the carrier’s 100th destination, being launched on April 6.
On June 5, Qatar Airways will commence flights from Doha to the Iranian city of Shiraz, followed by daily flights to Venice on June 15, the airline’s third destination in Italy. On June 29, Qatar Airways will make its first entry into Canada with thrice-weekly flights to Montreal.
Today, Qatar Airways operates a modern fleet of 94 aircraft to 99 diverse cities across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, South Asia and North and South America. The airline has more than 200 aircraft on order worth over US$40 billion.