Middle Eastern airline eyes Asian growth
Qatar Airways is planning to fly more routes to Asia, the company's CEO confirmed last week, hot on the heels of fellow Middle Eastern carriers Emirates and Etihad.
The airline said June 30 that its route between the Middle East and Tokyo, launched in April, has outperformed its expectations, becoming one of the top performing routes within just two months.
It has now announced new route from Doha to Phuket in Thailand and Hanoi in Vietnam, due to begin in October and December 2010 respectively, as well as increasing capacity to Bangkok from October.
Qatar Airway's CEO Akbar Al Baker said June 30 that it was "seeing strong demand for air travel from the entire Asian region and is planning to open up a number of new routes in this vibrant region."
In March 2010, Etihad launched daily flights to the Japanese capital, followed quickly by rival Emirates - Qatar inaugurated its service in April and is currently the only airline to fly to Tokyo every day of the week.
Through their hub-based operations, all three airlines could give established direct carriers to the region a run for their money, offering lower cost flights (offset by longer journey times) with transits through gleaming new terminals in the Gulf desert.
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