Qatar Airways is preparing for its 2012 Middle
East route expansion this week with Iraq being added to the
airline’s growing network.
The northern Iraqi city of Erbil and
capital Baghdad will join the airline’s international portfolio of
routes over a period of two weeks.
Starting 23 May 2012,
scheduled flights will begin to Erbil, followed on 7 June 2012 by
operations to Baghdad.
Both routes will be operated four-times-a-week non-stop from Qatar Airways’ Doha hub.
With the launch of two routes in Iraq in the space of just two
weeks, Qatar Airways will take its new start-ups in 2012 to six destinations, with a further seven routes planned by the end of
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer,
Baker, said Iraq had long been under the microscope by the
company’s planning team, essentially due to lack of international
air services in a country that had limited capacity for many years
due to political instability.
“Now we believe is the right
time to enter Iraq due to demand and infrastructure changes in a
country that warrants more business and greater air access,” Mr.
said. “We constantly evaluate numerous route opportunities
and taking into consideration a number of factors, we feel that
now is the opportunity to venture into this market. With
international corporate houses looking to do business in Iraq,
frequent air access will ease travel to and from the country via
our Doha hub. The two Iraq routes mark the first start-ups
in the Middle East for over a year and we continue to look at
further destinations within the region to widen our reach.”
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