The airline’s Vietnamese expansion marks a new chapter in Qatar Airways’ growth in the Far East for 2010, which also includes the addition of new routes to Tokyo and Phuket, as well as significant frequency and capacity upgrades across the region.
Qatar Airways now operates 11 flights a week to Doha spread across Vietnam’s two largest cities, up from its previous four frequencies a week to Ho Chi Minh City.
The airline’s new Vietnam schedules took effect from November 1 beginning with Qatar Airways’ inaugural flight from Doha to Hanoi, which landed at Noi Bai International Airport, following a 10½ hour journey via Bangkok. Hanoi becomes the airline’s second Vietnamese route and is operated four flights per week. At the same time, Qatar Airways Ho Chi Minh City services have been boosted to daily.
“Qatar Airways appreciates the support provided by the Vietnamese government in allowing us to almost triple the number of flights we operate to the country. The bilateral relationship between Qatar and Vietnam has grown significantly in recent years and this route development is one of the results of this growing friendship”, said Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker at press conference held in Hanoi today November 2.
By highlighting the airline’s focus on targeting underserved routes and maximising connectivity to key cities beyond Doha, the airline’s growth in Europe featured strongly with the upcoming introduction five new European destinations over the next five months including Nice (November 24, 2010), Budapest (January 17, 2011), Bucharest (January 17, 2011), Brussels (January 31, 2011) and Stuttgart (March 9, 2011).
“Vietnam travel has long attracted many tourists. With the country’s economic strength continuing to build, we are also seeing more business travel in and out of the country. Qatar Airways has introduced its new Hanoi route and placed additional frequencies to Ho Chi Minh City to push our advantage over our competitors and to grow our market share as the country grows”, added Mr Akbar Al Baker.
By 2013, Qatar Airways is expected to serve 120 key business and leisure destinations worldwide with a modern fleet of 120 aircrafts. Up to now, its has over 90 aircrafts with an average age les than 3 years, flying to 94 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North and South America.