Week of route expansions for GCC airlines
Qatar Airways announce that, in order to meet demand, it will be increasing its frequencies by adding new routes to Muscat, Tehran and Islamabad.
The airline has added an additional four flights to Tehran, bringing its weekly total to 19, a further two flights to Islamabad, with a total of nine weekly connections, whereas Doha-Muscat will be served 35 times a week, an increase of four flights.
The airline’s CEO, Akbar Al Baker, explains that the move was a result of “people from all over the world becoming more and more interested in discovering this part of the world. With such rich histories and stunning, undiscovered landscapes, these destinations are hidden gems that are slowly coming into their own.”
Qatar Airways’ decision to expand is the third in a series of regional airline expansions this week.
On Sunday, Bahrain’s carrier Gulf Air announced it would be launching four weekly flights to Russia’s capital, Moscow. As a response to Western sanctions, Russia is reportedly considering banning European airlines from flying over its airspace, which, considering its territories make up 12 per cent of the world’s surface, will significantly increase their operational costs. As such, this launch couldn’t have come at a more controversial time.
Likewise, Etihad’s recent 49 per cent acquisition of Italy’s national carrier, Alitalia, has come with news that three new destinations will be introduced, connecting Abu Dhabi with the Italian cities of Venice, Catania and Bologna. This will come on top of six new routes planned for early 2015 to Edinburgh, Madrid, Calcutta, Entebbe (Uganda), Hong Kong and Algiers.