#QatarAirways announces new destinations for 2018 but #Mombasa is off the list


(Posted 08th March 2018)

Qatar Airways’ and the airline’s CEO Akbar al Baker used the opening day of the world’s largest tourism trade fair, ITB Berlin, to bedazzle attendees when launching their new stand design, besides making major announcements during the press conference which followed the launch.
Mr. Al Baker announced the airline’s aggressive expansion plans and 16 new destinations for 2018 – 2019 at the media event which was, besided the official opening ceremony, the best attended event of the day.
Attended by 200 members of the international media Mr. Al Baker announced a raft of forthcoming global destinations for the airline in line with its expedited expansion plans, including the announcement that Qatar Airways will be the first Gulf carrier to begin direct service to Luxembourg. Other exciting new destinations to be launched by the airline include London Gatwick, United Kingdom; Cardiff, United Kingdom; Lisbon, Portugal; Tallinn, Estonia; Valletta, Malta; Cebu and Davao, Philippines; Langkawi, Malaysia; Da Nang, Vietnam; Bodrum, Antalya and Hatay, Turkey; Mykonos and Thessaloniki, Greece; and Málaga, Spain.

In addition, services to Warsaw, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Prague and Kyiv will increase to a double daily frequency, while services to Madrid, Barcelona and the Maldives will increase to triple daily.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Qatar Airways is tremendously excited to announce further expansion with a significant number of new destinations to be added to our extensive global network throughout 2018 and 2019. This is a direct reflection of our commitment to connecting travellers across all corners of the world in a way that is meaningful and convenient to them. We are committed to continuing our ambitious growth strategy, in order to be able to provide our passengers with as much choice as possible and to take them anywhere in the world they wish to go.”

He also spoke passionately about what this correspondent has repeatedly called the illegal air space blockade against Qatar: “During the blockade Qatar Airways continued its expansion; it continued its march ahead. We kept our country supplied and we became prouder as a nation. The blockade made my ruler an icon of defiance. Today, we are more independent than we were nine months ago. We are very defiant, and Qatar Airways will keep on expanding and keep on raising the flag for my country all over the globe.”

The brand-new exhibition stand unveiled at the ceremony was designed with a concept of “augmented reality.” The new stand features a full 360 digital screen wrapping around the entire stand showcasing the signature Qatar Airways five-star journey, while in-flight entertainment experiences allow guests to place themselves virtually into one of the airline’s Business Class seats, complemented, of course, by a full-size display of the airline’s patented, award-winning “First in Business Class” concept, ‘Qsuite.’

Further developments for the upcoming year were discussed, including additions to the airline’s sporting sponsorship portfolio. Qatar Airways is already the official sponsor of many top-level sporting events, including the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia,™ the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ and the FIFA Club World Cup™, reflecting the values of sports as a means of bringing people together, something at the core of the airline’s own brand message – Going Places Together.

Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of more than 200 aircraft from its hub Hamad International Airport (HIA). Last month did the airline welcome the first Airbus A350-1000, for which it was the global launch customer.

Qatar Airways welcomes all guests at ITB this week to visit its new exhibition pavilion at the trade fair. This year reveals a completely redesigned exhibition stand in Hall 2.2, stand 207 and 208 from today until 11 March. Guests and visitors to ITB Berlin are invited to relax in the award-winning “First in Business” Qsuite, of which there is a full display at the exhibition.

In Eastern Africa does Qatar Airways operate daily flights from Doha to Entebbe and Kigali but also serves Nairobi, Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. Notably does Mombasa, which in previous announcements was mentioned as a new 2018 destination, no longer on the list, raising serious questions about the Kenyan government’s true commitment to open up flights by leading international airlines to their coastal resort city.

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