Qatar Airways will further expand its growing network with no less than 14 new destinations during 2016 and 2017. This information was given by Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker during a press conference in Berlin. The expansion will include destinations in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Southwest Pacific, including the world’s longest commercial flight from Doha to Auckland and a few interesting destinations for European holidaymakers in southern and southeastern Asia.
For European travellers five new destinations will be added – Pisa (daily), Sarajevo (three flights/week), Helsinki (daily), Skopje (three times/week) and Nice (five times/week). All of the cities will be served using an Airbus A320 narrowbody aircraft with the exception of the route to Nice. However Qatar Airways has been known in the past to start with a smaller aircraft and later switch to a larger aircraft as the demand increases.
Pisa will be the fourth destination in Italy for Qatar Airways while the introduction of Helsinki means Qatar Airways will be connected to the hub of Finnair, another important OneWorld hub.
Six new destinations will be added in Africa – Marrakech (three flights/week), Windhoek (four flights/week), Seychelles (daily), Douala (three flights/week), Libreville (three flights/week) and Lusaka (three flights/week).
Douala in Cameroon and Libreville in Gabon will be served using the same aircraft, most likely as a triangle route. Mahe in Seychelles has been served in the past from Doha but is now reintroduced starting 12 December with daily departures.
In December two new destinations in Thailand will be added, both popular among holidaymakers – Chiang Mai in northern Thailand and Krabi in southern Thailand with many popular islands within easy reach. Krabi will be served four times weekly and Chiang Mai three times weekly. Qatar Airways also serve Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand.
Possibly the most exciting news is the introduction of Auckland in New Zealand, nonstop from Doha. The route will be the world’s longest flight taking up the competition with Emirates who recently announced a new service from Dubai to Panama City, which was then the world’s longest commercial flight. The Doha-Auckland route will commence 3 December 2016 using a Boeing 777.