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Qatar Airways expands into some interesting new destinations


Qatar Airways in the news
Qatar Airways is famous as one of the 'Big Three' in Gulf aviation (the other two being Etihad and Emirates) and we are constantly surprised at how innovative the airline can be. Here we look at some of the latest developments in new routes and destinations.
New Routes for Qatar Airways
But, moreover, it has launched a series of new routes. We have already mentioned the Doha-Nice, France service which has been joined by Doha-Dublin this June.Now they have announced a second daily flight to Sydney; which will go on to the Australian Federal capital, Canberra. Qatar only started flying to Sydney in March 2016 and, such was the success of the service that the plane was upgraded to a much larger A380 Superjumbo. The introduction of a  second service shows renewed confidence in the Australian aviation market. The flight will commence in February 2018. The route will be served by a Boeing 777-300, which can accommodate 358 passengers, and opens up Canberra to Qatars 150 destinations, 40 of which are in Europe.
Sri Lanka gets extra flights
A fourth daily service to Colombo, Sri Lanka commence on 1st August, meaning a 3,100 seat per week increase in capacity to the nation's capital. Sri Lanka is rapidly becoming one of Asia's leading tourist destinations. The Boeing 777-300ER on this route has 388 Economy seats and 24 business class in a spacious, modern aircraft. The Sri Lankan Tourist Board is expecting 2.5 million visitors this year.
Qatar has also begun a Doha-Skopje, Macedonia flight on July 17th, as well as starting a new Doha-Moscow service on 2nd August (bringing the weekly total to 21 flights) and from 28th August, a daily Doha-Kiev flight.This service will be flown by an Airbus A320, which will have 132 seats in economy and 12 in business class.
Doha-Skopje, Macedonia
The Doha-Skopje, Macedonian flight, will be four times a week via an Airbus A320, with 120 economy seats and 12 in business class. It may at first seem a curious choice of destinations until you find out that Macedonia is ranked as one of the top ten places in the world to do business in, and that 200,000 Macedonians live in Australia, and of course, the Qatar Airways Doha hub has excellent connections to Australia.
Eastern Europe gets many extra flights
These developments come on top of a new Doha-Prague route this summer and represents a significant intervention in the Eastern European aviation market.Qatar Airways rival, Emirates, has recently launched a Zagreb-Dubai service, so the Gulf airlines are obviously looking at Eastern Europe as a staging post.
Qatar Expands in South America too
South America is another area where Qatar is growing, with a Doha-Rio de Janeiro flight beginning in 2018. A code share agreement has also been announced with regional airline LATAM (in which Qatar has a 10% stake). The deal means that Qatar passengers will have access to twenty-five domestic destinations. Qatar has been flying to Brazil for seven years, starting with a flight between Sao Paulo and Doha.
Laptop Ban Ends at Qatari Airport
In other news, Qatar has announced that the laptop ban at the nations Hamad International Airport has been lifted, with immediate effect. The airport has complied with all the requirement of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The rescinding of the ban removes a major headache for Qatar Airways, as they have a high proportion of business travelers who are expected to work during the journey.
There are several types of Airline, and Qatar is in that group that combines quality with innovation. It seems to hit the right spot every time.
* Pictures shown are Doha Qatar , Skopje Macedonia, Kiev Ukraine (old town), and Sydney Australia.