Qatar Airways is ramping up capacity both in the India-Qatar sector as well as in other long haul routes to become West Asia’s preferred airline, outbidding rivals in the region.
Qatar’s national carrier is investing heavily to make Doha, the country’s capital, to be the number one transit hub. It is also aggressively acquiring aircraft to achieve its goals, its chief executive said.
“During the downturn when all airlines cut capacity, shrunk network, cut employee wages and sacked people, we did the reverse. We are adding five new destinations, expanding fleet, adding capacity and investing significantly to achieve our long term vision to be a world leader,” said Akbar Al Baker, CEO, Qatar Airways.
“India is very important to us. It is one of our largest markets and we are committed to expand here,” Baker said.
Qatar Airways, called a five star airline, would soon add nine more flights to Indian cities, taking the total to 80 from the existing 71 flights a week to eleven destinations. Two weeks ago, it added a daily non-stop flight connecting Bengaluru and Doha.
“Last year, we did not utilise our full capacity and now that travel is growing, we will add more flights,” Baker said.
The airline, which has a fleet of 80 aircraft as against 40 aircraft five years ago, is set to grow to 120 aircraft by 2013. It is adding one aircraft a month.