Berlin, Germany–Qatar Airways announced that it would be increasing its global flight capacity by 21% over the next few months as rising global air travel demand has begun approaching pre-pandemic levels.
The Airline Group’s CEO, Mr. Akbar Al Baker, announced the news at the ITB Berlin 2023, a travel and trade fair held at the Messe Berlin exhibition center last week.
Per the official release, Mr. Al Baker stated that the company plans to introduce services to seven new destinations, resume flights on 11 routes and increase its flight frequency on 35 others.
The seven new destination cities include Chittagong (Bangladesh), Juba (South Sudan), Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Lyon (France), Medan (Indonesia), Toulouse (France), and Trabzon (Turkey).
He added that the airline would also be deploying new, larger aircraft for its expansion plans due to come into effect this July. This measure would make Qatar Airways one among the many airlines worldwide taking a similar step.
Mr. Al Baker stated in the announcement, which was made shortly after a legal settlement with Airbus that the airline is proceeding slowly because of its dependence on airline manufacturers amid low supply.
“Unfortunately, it is not in their (Airbus and Boeing) hands; I think supply chain problems will last a bit longer,” said Al Baker during the conference.
The pandemic had hit all airline companies worldwide hard, with many succumbing to the monumental costs of maintaining aircraft and staff during the flight hiatus.
Per a 2020 report, the Qatari government had given $2 billion as a COVID relief package to keep the state-owned airline afloat.
“The aviation industry is slowly rebounding from unprecedented pressures,” added Al Baker.
On another note, Qatar Airways recently announced a multi-year partnership with Formula 1, making the airline its ‘Global Airline Partner.’ Qatar Airways will sponsor three Grand Prix this year as a part of the new deal.
As a result of prolonged political tensions between Qatar and its influential neighbors, the airline has faced a boycott in important Middle Eastern markets such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the UAE over the past few years.
Despite this, partly due to the lift of the ban in the countries mentioned above two years ago, the airline received a much-needed boost in revenue through more frequent short-haul flights.
We loved with Qatar Airways. We did one from BKK to NYC I believe. Middle Eastern airlines seem to be the best based on our experience combined with feedback from fellow travelers.
Good to see the expansion as travel gets back in full swing again.