Qatar Airways continues its growth and expansion plans as it announces the launch of Canberra, in 2018, with the carrier saying the Gulf Cooperation Community (GCC) blockade has had little impact on its operations. The carrier also noted that Qatar Cargo has done well transporting the increased demand for fresh produce and livestock due to the blockade which saw the key land border with Saudi Arabia closed.
The carrier said this latest route announcement follows a year of success and announcements which saw 26 new destinations for 2017/2018.
“At a time when many other global airlines are standing still, Qatar Airways has continued to elevate industry expectations, innovate the consumer experience and expand its global network,” the carrier said.
“The recent GCC blockade has had little impact on the national carrier of the State of Qatar thanks to a robust growth strategy, varied investment portfolio and its consistent award-winning customer experience,” it said, adding that its Cargo division “has also fared well during the past few months with increased demand for transporting fresh produce and livestock to Qatar.”
This included the “intelligent redeployment” of aircraft and crew to partner airlines such as British Airways and Royal Air Maroc ensures that planes do not idle, while reduced operational costs from the 18 affected destinations have helped to balance any perceived financial impact. Meanwhile, the airline has continued its robust expansion plans, launching service to exciting new destinations including Nice, France in July and Dublin, Republic of Ireland in June.
Qatar Airways will continue its expansion into Eastern Europe in August, with the launch of direct service to Prague, Czech Republic and Kyiv, Ukraine. It will also start service to Sohar, the airline’s third destination in the Sultanate of Oman.
Increased frequencies on routes such as Moscow, Russia, and Colombo, Sri Lanka, all counteract the currently suspended GCC routes, the carrier added.
With its B777-300 service to Canberra, the airline will be the first international carrier to offer Australia’s capital city daily scheduled flights to Doha via Sydney. Qatar Airways’ second-daily Sydney flight will make its way on to Canberra commencing February 2018. Return flights will be on a Canberra-Sydney-Doha routing.