(Posted 11th January 2022)
Qatar Airways was swift to take advantage of the continued U-turns by major Gulf rival Emirates vis a vis their flights to and from the African continent.
While supposed to be open and welcoming to visitors from Africa, especially with the Dubai World Expo still ongoing, has Dubai and the GCAA repeatedly thrown obstacles in the way of travelers from Africa, either destined for Dubai or else connecting there for their final destination.
The State of Qatar in contrast has done no such things and left air transport literally untouched, a major reason why in 2020 and 2021 Qatar Airways became one of the globe’s leading airlines in regards of flights operated, countries served and passengers uplifted.
Now Qatar Airways is boosting its services to Nigeria with the launch of four weekly flights to Kano (KAN) on 02nd of March 2022, and three weekly flights to Port Harcourt (PHC) on 03rd March 2022, both operating via the Nigerian capital, Abuja.
The airline currently operates two daily flights to Lagos and four times a week to Abuja, which will expand to a daily service in March 2022. Kano and Port Harcourt will become the seventh and eight new African gateways launched by Qatar Airways since the start of the pandemic. Both routes will be served by the state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner, featuring 22 seats in Business Class and 232 in Economy Class.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “The airline was one of the few to keep operating to many African destinations throughout the pandemic and, as restrictions are lifted, is continuing to expand its network on the continent. As home to the largest economy and population in the region, we see tremendous growth potential for travel and trade in Nigeria. It is a key market and an important part of our African growth strategy; the expansion of our presence across two new gateways is a testament to our continuous commitment to Nigeria.
We anticipate good reciprocal demand between Port Harcourt, UK, USA and destinations across Asia. For Kano we see the opportunity to grow traffic to and from markets such as KSA and India, as well as strong cargo prospects.”
As travel restrictions ease, Qatar Airways is restoring its services to all its African destinations. When Kano and Port Harcourt flights start operating, the airline will provide 188 weekly flights to 28 destinations in Africa, making it one of the leading airlines to offers flights across the continent via their hub in Doha. Qatar Airways African customers will also benefit from generous baggage allowances, which provide for up to 46kg in Economy Class split over two pieces and 64kg split over two pieces in Business Class.
A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was recently once again announced as the ‘Airline of the Year’ at the 2021 World Airline Awards, managed by the international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax. It was also named ‘World’s Best Business Class’, ‘World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge’, ‘World’s Best Business Class Airline Seat’, ‘World’s Best Business Class Onboard Catering’ and ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’.
The airline continues to stand alone at the top of the industry having won the main prize for an unprecedented sixth time (2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021).
Qatar Airways has also become the first global airline in the world to achieve the prestigious 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating by Skytrax. This follows the success of Hamad International Airport (HIA) as the first airport in the Middle East and Asia to be awarded a Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating. These awards provide assurance to passengers across the world that the airline’s health and safety measures are subject to the highest possible standards of professional, independent scrutiny and assessment. For full details of all the measures that have been implemented on board and at HIA, please visit qatarairways.com/safety.
Flight schedule (all times local):
Kano (KAN) – Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday
Doha (DOH) to Abuja (ABV) QR1431 departs: 01:45 arrives: 07:20
Abuja (ABV) to Kano (KAN) QR1431 departs: 08:50 arrives: 09:50
Kano (KAN) to Abuja (ABV) QR1432 departs: 18:35 arrives 19:35
Abuja (ABV) to Doha (DOH) QR1432 departs: 21:05 arrives 05:15 (+1)
Port Harcourt (PHC) – Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
Doha (DOH) to Abuja (ABV) QR1433 departs: 01:45 arrives: 07:20
Abuja (ABV) to Port Harcourt (PHC) QR1433 departs: 08:50 arrives: 10:00
Port Harcourt (PHC) to Abuja (ABV)) QR1434 departs: 18:25 arrives 19:35
Abuja (ABV) to Doha (DOH) QR1434 departs: 21:05 arrives 05:15 (+1)
In East Africa does Qatar Airways serve Entebbe in Uganda, Kigali in Rwanda, Nairobi in Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro International and Zanzibar in Tanzania.