Qatar Airways – route announcements or statements of intent


In classic Qatar Airways fashion their CEO has made another dramatic statement of new route plans – without any details about frequency, equipment or start date.

New routes planned for 2018 include:

San Francisco, US
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Utapao, Thailand
Chittagong, Bangladesh
Mykonos, Greece
Málaga, Spain
Accra, Ghana
Lisbon, Portugal
Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Prague, Czech Republic
Kiev, Ukraine
Mombasa, Kenya

Qatar Airways has delayed plans to start flights to Las Vegas until the second quarter 2018, from the first quarter of that year, “mainly due to technical reasons,” al-Baker said without explaining further.

In November 2016 Qatar announced flights to eight new destinations: none of these have actually started flying yet and three of the destinations have no announced start date.

Canberra, Australia               Not started
Dublin, Ireland                      12 June 2017
Las Vegas, United States        8 Jan 2018
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil             28 Oct 2017
Santiago, Chile                      Not started
Medan, Indonesia                  Not started
Tabuk, Saudi Arabia              19 June 2017
Yanbu, Saudi Arabia               9 May 2017

Previously in the first half of 2016 Qatar had announced 2017 launches to seven destinations: only one of those routes has actually started.

Auckland                               5 February 2017
Sarajevo, Bosnia                     initially scheduled to launch in September 2016. Postponed.
Skopje, Macedonia                 17 July 2017
Libreville, Gabon                    not started
Nice                                       4 July 2017
Chiang Mai                            planned as a Dec 2016 extension of RGN flight. Postponed.
Douala, Cameroon.                not started

So of 15 new destinations announced in 2016 only one has so far started flights and 7 have no announced start dates.

Suggestion – take Qatar route announcements as a statement of intent rather than a definite plan!

In other Qatar news:

Qatar Airways will also sign in the next “few days” an agreement with Italy’s Meridiana. Qatar Airways has been negotiating to buy a 49 percent stake in the Italian airline for over a year. I have no idea what the upside is for Qatar – other than that Meridiana is currently owned by the Aga Khan.

The Doha-based airline will also make an application with the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) for an Indian airline operating license in the next “few weeks,” he said.Qatar Airways has said it plans to operate a domestic Indian carrier with around 100 jets.

That could be a big play to grab traffic from India and route it through Qatar.

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