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Qatar Airways to Increase Flights to Iran; Launch Isfahan Service

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Qatar Airways is to increase capacity across its network in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and will launch daily scheduled flights to a fourth city – the central Iranian city of Isfahan.

An additional 31 flights each week will be operated by the Doha-based airline between the State of Qatar and Iran, representing an 150% increase in overall frequency.

The capacity rise to 52 services a week, up from the current 21, will be phased in over a four-month period, starting 1 December 2011.

The capital Tehran will be served with an additional daily flight; Iran’s second largest city of Mashhad is to get nine extra flights; Shiraz, the economic centre of southern Iran, will be given eight new flights; and, starting 11 January 2012, services will begin to Isfahan in central Iran.

 Shiraz: 8 new flights – currently twice-weekly, rising to daily, effective December 1, and a further three flights introduced each week from March 2012.

 Isfahan: new route – daily flights from 11 January 2012.

 Mashhad: 9 new flights – from the current five flights-a-week to 14 services (double daily), beginning March 2012.

 Tehran: 7 new flights –.from the current 14 flights each week (double daily) to 21 services (thrice-daily), beginning March 2012.

All flights will be operated by Airbus A320 aircraft in a two-class configuration of 12 seats in Business Class and 132 in Economy.

Qatar Airways began flying to Iran in 2004 with the launch of services to Tehran. Flights to Mashhad started the following year, with Shiraz introduced to the network almost five months ago.

Isfahan, home to textile and steel mills and located on the country’s main north-south and east-west crossroads, is the heartbeat of central Iran’s economy. With fine historic Islamic architecture, palaces and tree-lined wide boulevards, the city is regarded as one of the most beautiful in the Middle East.

 “Almost five months ago, Qatar Airways introduced the Iranian city of Shiraz to our network. We have been working with the authorities in Iran for increased capacity across the country and delighted to have reached agreement to make this announcement,” said Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, Akbar Al Baker. “Additional flights will ultimately benefit passengers travelling to and from Iran and with our large international network of destinations, we facilitate travel with more ease, more flexibility and more choice, particularly for the large Iranian expatriate community around the world.”

So far this year, Qatar Airways has launched flights to 12 cities worldwide – Bucharest (Romania), Budapest (Hungary), Brussels (Belgium), Stuttgart (Germany), Aleppo (Syria), Shiraz (Iran), Venice (Italy), Montreal (Canada), Medina (Saudi Arabia), Kolkata (India), Sofia (Bulgaria) and Oslo (Norway).

Three further routes are planned during November alone – to the Libyan port city of Benghazi from 1 November 2011; Ugandan city of Entebbe effective 2 November 2011; and the central Chinese city of Chongqing on 28 November 2011.

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