Qatar Airways has confirmed it will increase capacity on its routes between Doha’s Hamad International Airport and Madrid, Spain and Perth, Australia, during the final quarter of this year. This will be achieved by an increased frequency on the route to Europe and the permanent deployment of a larger capacity airliner on the Australian link.
The carrier launched direct flights to Madrid, both the capital and the most populous city in Spain, in January 2011 but from this winter will introduce a further three weekly frequencies to meet growing demand, increasing from a daily schedule to ten times weekly offering from November 16, 2014. The additional rotation will operate on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays and will provide an early hours departure from Doha and late morning departure from Madrid.
With the addition of the three new frequencies, the route, which is flown by a Boeing 777-300ER will offer an additional 252 Business Class and 1,758 Economy Class seats per week, for an overall increase of 2,010 seats. The airline says the second rotation will offer passengers even more connection opportunities especially on routes across the Middle East and Asia.
“In the short time that we have been flying to Madrid, we have witnessed a steady increase in the demand for flights to and from the city. I am happy to say that a direct result of that is the number of travellers that choose to fly with us has also increased, and this is why we are thrilled to be able to satisfy the demand of our passengers by offering three additional flights per week,” said His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, chief executive officer, Qatar Airways Group.
Alongside the Madrid expansion, Qatar Airways has confirmed it will permanently deploy one of its 777-300ERs on its Doha – Perth route from October 1, 2014 due to “exceptional growth”. This route was routinely served by a smaller 777-200ER but increasing demand has already seen the carrier substitute it with the larger variant during the course of this year and the type is also scheduled to be used on the route through September 2014.
Qatar Airways had initially planned to schedule the 777-200ER on the route from the start of the fourth quarter but has taken the decision now to permanently utilise the larger 777-300ER. This will bring a 30 per cent increase in seats on the direct daily flight, boosting weekly capacity by 1,064 seats. This announcement comes as the carrier celebrates the second anniversary of the route to the Western Australia, its second Australian destination, joining Melbourne which was launched in 2009.
In our analysis, below, we look at passenger demand on Qatar Airways’ flights to and from both Madrid and Perth since the two destinations were added to its network in January 2011 and July 2012, respectively.