Qatar Airways to launch flights to Barcelona, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires next month; Doha airport to open on December 18, 2011

May 5, 2010

Qatar Airways will next month begin services to Barcelona, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires, the carrier’s chief executive has said.

The airline this year launched flights to four other cities this year — Bengaluru (Bangalore), Copenhagen, Ankara and Tokyo.

“I am delighted to say that we are well on track with our strategy, opening up routes in all corners of the world, introducing brand new aircraft into the fleet at a phenomenal rate and investing in our existing airport in Doha while the New Doha International Airport is under construction,” Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said.

“Since February, we have opened up some great new routes in India, Turkey, Denmark and Japan. And June will be a busy month for us as we prepare to launch flights to a second Spanish destination, and enter South America for the first time with flights to Brazil and Argentina.”

Daily flights to Barcelona will be added to the airline’s network on June 7 to support existing scheduled services to Madrid.

On June 24, Qatar Airways will launch daily flights to South America’s two largest cities, Sao Paulo in Brazil and Buenos Aires in Argentina, operated with the carrier’s flagship Boeing 777 wide body aircraft, Qatari media reported on Wednesday.

The new flights are part of major expansion plans with new aircraft and improving airport infrastructure ahead of next year’s opening of the New Doha International Airport.

Al Baker said that the New Doha International Airport was scheduled to be ready by the end of 2011, with both runways and main terminal structure already completed. The airport will have a capacity of 24 million passengers in the initial opening phase.

Qatar Airways currently operates a fleet of 82 aircraft to 89 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and North America.

However, the fleet size is set to rise to 120 aircraft by 2013 and destinations will increase to 120 over the next three years.

The airline has placed orders for more than 200 aircraft worth over $40 billion. This includes delivery of the first of three Boeing 777 dedicated freighter aircraft due to join the fleet from next week.

In an interview with a Qatari daily, the head of the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority said that the new QR45 billion Doha International Airport would be officially inaugurated on December 18,2011, coinciding with Qatar’s National Day celebrations,.

Abdul Azizi Al Naimi said that 70% of the construction works on the new airport has almost been completed and that the project infrastructure was finished.

“The opening might be on the next year’s National Day falling on December 18. One can now see the front of the airport and notice that work has already begun on the (upper) infrastructure,” Al Naimi told Al Arab.

“When completed, the new airport will give a major boost to the ongoing economic development and contribute to the labour market by creating 50,000 new job opportunities.” he said.

The airport will initially handle up to 28 million passengers, but the number will upon work completion increase to 50 million people and two million tonnes of cargo a year.

“It will be rated among the world’s high capacity airports that can link passengers and serve as a hub for passengers from different destinations,” he said. 

The airport will also be the world’s first airport specifically designed to handle the double-deck Airbus 800-A380 aircraft.

“It will have 175 passenger check-in counters, 41 passenger gates and several other facilities,” he said.



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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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