As tourism demand rebounds, Qatar Airways has announced ambitious growth plans. The Gulf carrier outlined objectives to add seven new destinations, restore 11 others, and increase the frequency of flights to 35 markets, representing a 21% increase in flights by July 2023 compared to the same month last year at the ITB tourism fair in Berlin.
Newly planned destinations include five in Europe, including three in France, and two in Africa. Al Baker stated that Qatar aims to triple the annual visitors to six to seven million compared to 2019, contributing to 10% of its economy.
Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, disclosed that the airline was being conservative due to supply chain woes from Airbus and Boeing.
Al Baker mentioned the recent legal settlement with Airbus as a “win-win” for both parties. This marked his first public comment on resolving the roughly $2 billion dispute between the two companies.
“We continue to look forward to our bright future here in Qatar, with multiple projects lined up for 2023 and beyond, such as the Formula 1 partnership. Qatar will continue to be a global hub of connectivity and an ideal destination for tourism long after the great success of the historic FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022”, Al Baker said.
While Al Baker acknowledged inflationary pressures on ticket prices, he said the airline would not pass on all fuel increases to customers. Qatar Airways faces competition from Dubai, an international tourist destination, and Saudi Arabia, which has invested heavily in tourism and entertainment.
Connecting through its Doha hub, Hamad International Airport, Qatar Airways offers flights to over 150 destinations worldwide.
Recently, the airline collaborated with Indian actress Deepika Padukone to launch a new brand campaign.
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