Qatar Airways today unveiled the launch dates of three new passenger destinations in Pakistan at the ITB Berlin tradeshow, as part of the airline’s continued expansion strategy. The carrier also confirmed the introduction of its second Airbus A350XWB into service on its second daily rotation between Doha and Frankfurt this month.
As first revealed by our Airline Route blog last month (see ‘Qatar Airways Files Proposed New Tanzania / Pakistan Service in S15'), the Gulf carrier will introduce new links from its Hamad International Airport hub in Doha to the Pakistan cities of Faisalabad, Multan and Sialkot. The flights will launch from July 2015 and will increase its network in the country to seven destinations.
Qatar Airways first launched services to Pakistan twenty years ago when flights to Karachi commenced in 1995. It subsequently introduced direct links to Peshawar in 1995, Lahore in 1999 and Islamabad in 2004 and currently operates 45 flights a week into the country.
“We have had a well-established operation in Pakistan for many years, but have always been looking to expand more, and now thanks to new agreements in place between the relevant authorities, we will soon enjoy significantly greater capacity between Qatar and Pakistan,” said His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, chief executive officer, Qatar Airways Group.
FUN FACT With Qatar preparing to host the 2022 Football World Cup, did you know Sialkot is the world's largest producer of hand-sewed footballs, with local factories manufacturing 40-60 million footballs a year, amounting to roughly 70 per cent of the total world production.
With Qatar preparing to host the 2022 Football World Cup, did you know Sialkot is the world's largest producer of hand-sewed footballs, with local factories manufacturing 40-60 million footballs a year, amounting to roughly 70 per cent of the total world production.Routesonline Digital Content Team
The first of the new routes will be introduced from July 16, 2015 when a four times weekly flight will be introduced to Sialkot, a destination which is already served by the carrier’s fleet of dedicated freighters on a three times a weekly basis.
The city is a large economic hub that boasts of several manufacturing industries. According to passenger data the destination is expected to generate strong connection flows via Doha to Qatar Airways’ network in Europe, the Americas and the Middle East with London, Manchester, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Rome, Dammam, Abu Dhabi and New York expected to be key markets.
The second new Pakistan route will commence on July 17, 2015 when a three times weekly link to Faisalabad will be introduced. Faisalabad is Pakistan’s third largest city and has experienced rapid industrial development as it has nurtured itself into a major growth centre with high economic activity.
Qatar Airways expects the destination to be popular with existing network points in the Middle East and the Americas and highlights Jeddah, Dubai, Muscat, Bahrain, Kuwait, New York, Washington, Chicago and Montreal as key markets for passenger demand to the city.
The third new route to Multan will commence on August 1, 2015 and will also be served on a three times weekly basis. As a commercial and industrial centre Multan is very well connected with industrial hubs in the rest of the country through rail and air. The city is also an important agricultural centre as it is home to a wide variety of crops and livestock.
All three routes will be flown using Airbus A320 equipment configured in a two-class arrangement with seating of up to 12 passengers in Business Class and up to 132 in Economy. Alongside the three new Pakistan destinations, Qatar Airways will add flights in the coming months to Amsterdam and Durban, increasing its global network to 151 destinations across Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, North America and South America.