Qatar Airways will begin a phased approach to expanding its network in line with passenger demand evolution and the expected relaxation of entry restrictions around the world. Having maintained flights to at least 30 destinations where possible during the COVID-19 crisis and to most continents, helping to take over one million people home, the airline has been closely monitoring global passenger flows and booking trends to confidently begin planning the gradual reintroduction of additional flights and destinations to its network.
“Throughout this crisis, our passengers have been at the centre of our focus. Our airline has implemented industry-leading hygiene practices and commercial policies enabling our passengers to book and travel with confidence,” Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, said. “We have maintained a flexible and agile network to help take over one million people home through our state of the art hub in Doha and to transport more than 100,000 tonnes of essential medical and aid supplies to where they are needed.”
“We have built a strong level of trust with passengers, governments, trade and airports as a reliable partner during this crisis and we intend to continue delivering on this mission as we gradually expand our network.”
While the situation remains hugely dynamic, Qatar Airways has made a number of assumptions based on its unique perspective, having been one of the only carriers to operate globally in recent months. With entry restrictions constantly evolving, accurately predicting future travel is challenging. However, while the expectation is that short-haul travel will rebound first, the business between large global cities will pick up more gradually and there will be a move towards visiting family and friends following months of lockdowns.
Qatar Airways will take full advantage of its diverse and efficient fleet with the right aircraft size to ensure the best fit for expected demand on each planned route. By the end of June 2020, the aim is to have 80 destinations in the schedule including 23 in Europe, four in the Americas, 20 in Middle East/Africa and 33 in Asia Pacific. Many cities will be served with a strong schedule with daily or more frequencies.
The gradual expansion will focus initially on strengthening connections between the airline’s hub in Doha with the global hubs of its partner airlines around the world including London, Chicago, Dallas and Hong Kong along with reopening many major business and leisure destinations such as Madrid and Mumbai.
Currently, the airline continues to operate flights to more than 30 destinations around the world. By the end of May, the airline plans to grow its network back to over 50 destinations resuming services to cities such as Manila, Amman and Nairobi. A further number of destinations* are planned to be added by the end of June.
Destinations earmarked for service resumption by end of June include:
Addis Ababa (ADD), Cape Town (CPT), Johannesburg (JNB), Lagos (LOS), Nairobi (NBO), Tunis (TUN)
Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Sao Paulo (GRU), Montreal (YUL)
Guangzhou (CAN), Hong Kong (HKG), Seoul (ICN), Tokyo (NRT), Beijing (PEK), Shanghai (PVG), Bangkok (BKK), Jakarta (CGK), Kuala Lumpur (KUL), Manila (MNL), Singapore (SIN), Ahmedabad (AMD), Amritsar (ATQ), Bangalore (BLR), Mumbai (BOM), Calicut (CCJ), Kolkata (CCU), Colombo (CMB), Kochi (COK), Dhaka (DAC), New Delhi (DEL), Goa (GOI), Hyderabad (HYD), Kathmandu (KTM), Chennai (MAA), Male (MLE), Trivandrum (TRV), Islamabad (ISB), Karachi (KHI), Lahore (LHE), Melbourne (MEL), Perth (PER), Sydney (SYD)
Athens (ATH), Budapest (BUD), Moscow (DME), Istanbul (IST), Amsterdam (AMS), Stockholm (ARN), Barcelona (BCN), Brussels (BRU), Paris (CDG), Copenhagen (CPH), Dublin (DUB), Edinburgh (EDI), Rome (FCO), Frankfurt (FRA), London (LHR), Madrid (MAD), Manchester (MAN), Munich (MUC), Milan (MXP), Oslo (OSL), Berlin (TXL), Vienna (VIE), Zurich (ZRH)
Amman (AMM), Beirut (BEY), Baghdad (BGW), Basra (BSR), Erbil (EBL), Teheran (IKA), Sulaymaniyah (ISU), Kuwait (KWI), Muscat (MCT), Mashad (MHD), Najaf (NJF), Sohar (OHS), Salalah (SLL), Shiraz (SYZ)
Image credit: Supplied by Qatar Airways