Qatar Airways will expand its network in Australia, Europe, Africa and Saudi Arabia. In 2012, the airline will offer flights to Perth, Helsinki, Zagreb, Zanzibar, Kigali, Mombasa and Gassim.

Qatar Airways has announced its 2012 route expansion program that focuses on Australia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. A gamut of new destinations is set to join the airline’s international flight network.

The five-star rated airline made this major announcement on Friday at the Dubai Air Show.

In 2012, Qatar Airways will offer flights to Perth in Western Australia, the Finnish capital Helsinki, Croatia’s capital city of Zagreb, Gassim in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and three East African cities – Zanzibar (Tanzania), Kigali (Rwanda) and Mombasa (Kenya).

All these seven new routes will operate from the airline’s hub in Doha and will be operational over the next few months. Other than these, flights to Baku and Tbilisi, the capital cities of Azerbaijan and Georgia, respectively will also be operational from February.

Qatar Airways’ Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker revealed the new destinations at the DubaiAir Show and spoke about the airline’s aggressive expansion policy.

“We are continuing what we started back in 1997 when Qatar Airways was launched with new routes and new aircraft being introduced at an unprecedented rate to further strengthen what is truly a global network airline,” Al Baker was quoted in the company’s press release published last week.

“Our mission has been to operate to key business and leisure destinations around the world, but also to underserved markets where others dare not venture into. We take bold decisions to serve certain markets because we believe it makes strong business sense.

“Today’s announcement shows the confidence Qatar Airways has in such a diverse range of destinations. We look forward to offering even greater choice to the travelling public that they so deserve,” Al Baker added.

New Routes

Perth will be Qatar Airways’ second route in Australia. Nearly two years ago, the airline launched its maiden flight to Australia – to Melbourne.

The addition of Helsinki and Zagreb in its European network will boost Qatar’s presence in the continent. The carrier has already launched seven routes in Europe this year. After Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo, Helsinki will become the five-star airline’s fourth Nordic route.

Qatar Airways will amplify its network in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by adding fifth destination in the country, Gassim. Qatar Airways presently serves Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Medina.

As far as the African continent is concerned, the launch of three new routes will strengthen the presence of the airline in the region. While Kenya’s Mombasa and Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean are hot holiday destinations, Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city, is a prominent commercial hub of the region.

The launch of all these flights on significant international routes will surely lure travellers to book tickets with Qatar Airways, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world. Qatar may not be renowned for operating cheap flights but the airline is exceedingly popular as a full-service quality airline with top of the line in-flight services. Moreover, with the increase in the competition, budget travellers will have better chances of lapping up cheap flight tickets on the routes.

In 2011, the airline’s aggressive expansion program witnessed launch of flights to 14 destinations – Bucharest (Romania), Budapest (Hungary), Brussels (Belgium), Stuttgart (Germany), Aleppo (Syria), Shiraz (Iran), Venice (Italy), Montreal (Canada), Medina (Saudi Arabia), Kolkata (India), Sofia (Bulgaria), Oslo (Norway), Benghazi (Libya) and Entebbe (Uganda).

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