Exciting times ahead for Qatar Airways
On Friday the 31st of May Qatar Airways first flight to Casablanca landed. Qatar Airways has started this route with 3x weekly flights operated on Fridays, Sundays and Wednesdays. Qatar Airways plans to upgrade this route to Daily in the near future. Qatar Airways will also start services to Frankfurt, Milan and Sana’a in June this year.
In the press conference held in Casablanca to celebrate the arrival, Qatar Airways managers have released interesting news about Qatar Airways future plans. A Qatar Airways original plan was to concentrate on the European and Asian markets. These plans have been adjusted because QR is more of a success than what was originally predicted. Qatar Airways have said that they will fly to the US in 2004 and have even more recently showed a renewed interest in the African market.
Qatar Airways currently operate to only three African destinations; Casablanca, Cairo and Khartoum. The CEO has said that Qatar Airways will also start flights to Tunis , Libya as well as South Africa. These destinations should come in 2003. On a more regional level plans have been announced for flights to Sharjah which should start this year, as well as Qatar Airways entering the Iranian market in the near future.
The recent Qatari withdrawal from Gulf Air has made Qatar Airways alter their future expansion plans. The altered plans include more destinations as well as aircraft than originally planned by the airline. This is because Qatar's withdrawal from Gulf Air will result in many routes to be transferred from Gulf Air to Qatar Airways which will give Qatar Airways a 20% passenger boost.
Qatar Airways Order
The Qatari newspaper "Al Sharq" has reported today that Qatar Airways has placed a $4.1 billion dollar order with Airbus. The order should include some A340-500 for use on Qatar Airways' proposed routes to the US. The order will also include some narrow-bodies to fill the gap Gulf Air will make when they withdraw from the market. The order will be for between 9 and 12 aircraft, this is why I think their might be a typo because 9 to 12 aircraft is too small an order for 4.1 billion dollars, or will QR give us a surprise?. Complete details of the order should be announced this week and I will keep you all updated.
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