Qatar Airways today announced plans to extend its presence in the People's Republic of China, with the launch of flights to a fifth gateway – the western city of Chongqing, from 28 November.
= Qatar Airways today announced plans to start flights to Chongqing in China. The signing ceremony on this occasion was attended by (pictured at head table from left) Ai Yang, Deputy Secretary General of Chongqing Municipality People's Government; Liu Xuepu, Vice-Mayor of Chongqing City; Michael Swiatek, Qatar Airways Chief Planning Officer; and Dai Ke, Vice-General Manager of Chongqing
Operating three-times-a-week, the non-stop service from the airline's hub in Doha, capital of the State of Qatar, will take the carrier's capacity to China up to 28 flights a week.
The airline already operates daily non-stop flights from Doha to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Guangzhou and four-flights-a-week to Beijing. The new Chongqing services will be operated with an Airbus A330 in a two-class Business and Economy configuration.
With a population of just over 30 million people, Chongqing has a large industrial catchment area and is a prime example of Qatar Airways placing strategic importance into emerging cities around the world.
Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport is one of the biggest airports in western China serving a large domestic market with limited international flights. Global access is typically via Hong Kong, Beijing or Shanghai.
Chongqing is a major manufacturing centre and a key transportation hub located in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, a vitally important shipping waterway in China. With Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin, it is also one of only four municipalities in China which report directly to the national government.
Main local industries in Chongqing are consumer goods and the processing of food, automobiles, chemicals, textiles and machinery. The city is the largest in China for the production of motorcycles and third biggest for motor vehicles.
Announcing the new route, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “China is clearly one of the world's most important countries on the international stage, being a pacesetter in manufacturing and helping transform the global economic landscape.
“It is this dynamism of a country that we at Qatar Airways have been monitoring closely and delighted to be part of China's burgeoning economic growth. With four routes in China already well established, we look forward to adding Chongqing as our fifth gateway by the end of the year.
“Qatar Airways is demonstrating confidence of doing business with partners in China and the opening of Chongqing as our newest route, particularly being an up-and-coming city that is underserved by international airlines, shows our commitment to a vibrant economy.”
Added Al Baker: "On behalf of Qatar Airways, I would like to thank the airport authority in Chongqing, the Chongqing Municipal Government and, indeed, the Civil Aviation Authority of the People's Republic of China for giving Qatar Airways the opportunity to have an active role in China's economic success story.
Qatar Airways will expand its presence in China with flights to Chongqing, starting 28 November. Pictured at a signing ceremony announcing the new route Doha-Chongqing are Michael Swiatek, Qatar Airways Chief Planning Officer (left) and Liu Xuepu, Vice-Mayor Chongqing City.
“Since launching our first route to China in 2003 with services to Shanghai, we have steadily grown our business to become the Gulf carrier with the biggest network in the country, flying passengers to and from China, connecting them to all parts of the world via our Doha hub.”
Recently named Airline of the Year 2011 in the prestigious annual Skytrax passenger survey, Qatar Airways continued its remarkable award-winning streak for a young airline in only its 14th year of operations.
Qatar Airways now flies to over 100 diverse business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America with a modern fleet of 98 aircraft. By 2013, the airline plans to serve more than 120 destinations worldwide with a fleet of over 120 aircraft.
Over the last seven months, Qatar Airways has added 10 new routes to its burgeoning global network – Bucharest (Romania), Budapest (Hungary), Brussels (Belgium), Stuttgart (Germany), Aleppo (Syria), Shiraz (Iran), Venice (Italy), Montreal (Canada), Medina (Saudi Arabia) and Kolkata (India).
By the end of 2011, Qatar Airways expands its services to the Bulgarian capital Sofia from 14 September; Norwegian capital Oslo beginning 5 October; Entebbe in Uganda from 2 November; Azerbaijan capital, Baku on 30 November; and the Georgian capital Tbilisi, also on 30 November.
The Doha – Chongqing schedules with effect from 28 November:
* Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays
Depart Doha QR848 at 01:15 hrs, arrive Chongqing 13:05 hrs
* Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays
Depart Chongqing QR849 at 01:00 hrs, arrive Doha 05:00 hrs