Qatar Airways trebles up in Thailand
Qatar Airways will introduce a third daily flight to Bangkok from 1 November.The increase in capacity comes just three weeks after the airline launched scheduled flights to popular Thai resort Phuket.The Bangkok service will facilitate a surge in demand from many parts of the world, particularly European and North and South American customers for travel to Thailand. After stopping in Bangkok the flights will head to Vietnam – four will head to the capital Hanoi and three to Ho Chi Minh City. Passengers originating in Thailand or Vietnam can also purchase tickets to fly between Bangkok and both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on Qatar Airways.Beginning 12 October, Qatar Airways will fly six times weekly to Phuket via Kuala Lumpur. With the Bangkok flights, the airline’s Thai operations will step up from 21 to 27 flights a week across two destinations. According to the airline, the upcoming Phuket flights have drawn positive response from businesses across the island eager to capitalise on an increase in tourism numbers. Similarly, Qatar Airways has seen huge bookings from holidaymakers, particularly from across its European markets for the new route. Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the expansion in Thailand reaffirmed the airline’s commitment to one of its most important markets.”Our third daily flight to Bangkok will create further connectivity across our network into Thailand and also allows us to improve our services to Vietnam where we already fly to Ho Chi Minh City and look forward to adding Hanoi to our schedules,” he said. “With Phuket and Hanoi coming online around the same time, Qatar Airways will soon operate to two destinations each in Vietnam and Thailand and we are thrilled to be able to offer the travelling public these exciting destinations and, with it, offer more choice.” The travel market in Asia is experiencing significant growth and one which Al Baker stressed Qatar Airways was well placed to take advantage of. “IATA statistics have passenger demand in the Asia Pacific region up over 10 per cent on the previous year. The timing of Qatar Airways’ expansion drive in Asia couldn’t be better to take advantage of this increase in traffic,” he added.Qatar Airways has launched seven new routes since February 2010 - Bengaluru (Bangalore), Copenhagen, Ankara, Tokyo, Barcelona, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires. Six further routes are scheduled to be launched over a four-month period from October, including Phuket and Hanoi, as well as Nice (November 24), Budapest (January 11), Bucharest (January 11) and Brussels (January 31). By 2013, Qatar Airways plans to serve 120 key business and leisure destinations worldwide with a modern fleet of 120 aircraft. Today, the airline’s fleet stands at 88 aircraft, flying to 92 destinations across Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North and South America.