Qatar Airways announced a significant increase in capacity to Sri Lanka – with one of its triple-daily-flights to capital city – Colombo, expanded from a narrow-bodied Airbus 320 to the airline’s flagship wide-bodied Boeing 777.
Beginning 1 January 2014, the larger Boeing 777 will offer flat-bed seats in Business class and passengers in every seat across the Business and Economy Class cabins will experience a fully interactive personal audio and video entertainment system.
Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777 service to Colombo – QR 658 will be operated in a two-class configuration of 356 seats in Economy and 24 seats in Business Class. The other two daily flights to the city will be served with the airline’s narrow-body A320 aircraft which can accommodate 132 passengers in Economy and 12 in Business Class.
Qatar Airways Country Manager Sri Lanka, Ajay Jacob said that the increase in capacity to Colombo will help in strengthening the airline’s position in the Sri Lankan market.
“Colombo remains a popular destination in the carrier’s rising Asia-Pacific network as we currently operate triple-daily-services to this city. The added capacity means travellers to and from Colombo will have greater access and also an increasingly competitive product like the Boeing 777.
An array of connecting destinations for passengers to and from Colombo over the airline’s Doha hub include Chicago, Kilimanjaro, Nairobi, Moscow, Paris, London, Frankfurt, Rome, Milan, Venice, New York, Washington and Montreal.
Added Jacob: “There are a significant number of Sri Lankan expatriates who are working in Qatar, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. Additional seats will enable more passengers to travel with us, for leisure or on business.”
Qatar Airways was recently named Best Middle East Airline by readers of Business Traveller Asia-Pacific, for four consecutive years. The airline has also won the Skytrax Airline of The Year award two years in a row, 2011 and 2012.
Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 16 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 128 aircraft to 133 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and The Americas.
In 2013, Qatar Airways has launched 11 destinations to date – Gassim (Saudi Arabia), Najaf (Iraq), Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Chicago (USA), Salalah (Oman), Basra (Iraq), Sulaymaniyah (Iraq), Chengdu (China), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Ta’if (Saudi Arabia) and most recently Clark Manila International Airport (Philippines).
Over the next few weeks and months, the network will grow further with Hangzhou, China (December 20), Sharjah and Dubai World Central, both in the UAE (March 1, 2014), Philadelphia, USA (April 2, 2014), Edinburgh, Scotland (May 28, 2014) and Miami, USA (June 10, 2014).