Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker has during a visit to Montreal, where he also visited the Bombardier assembly plant outside the city, announced major plans for the airlines flights to the United States. Regular travelers on QR will be delighted to hear that the airline is planning to boost flights to the Big Apple, aka New York to three a day while adding new destinations in the United States such as Atlanta, Chicago, Boston and Detroit.
Al Baker attributed the slower than intended pace of rolling out new destinations to the delayed delivery of the new B787 Dreamliner, of which Qatar Airways has 60 on order. Al Baker was quoted of saying: Qatar Airways is in the midst of a very aggressive expansion plan. The only thing that stopped us from going earlier is the delayed delivery of the 787s.
According to other information available from the airline it plans to expand destinations from their present 115 to about 170 over the next few years as more aircraft are due to join their fleet. The opening of the brand new mega airport in Doha by the end of 2012 or latest in early 2013 will also further facilitate that objective, more so when the first of 10 ordered A380s are also being delivered. Qatar Airways has a further 60 A350 aircraft on order and has reportedly been in regular contact with Airbus over any potential delays in putting this brand new aircraft into service, following the experience the aviation world had with the production problems surrounding the B787 Dreamliner.
The visit to Bombardier was reportedly aimed at finalizing an additional order for Qatar Airways fleet of executive aircraft, six of which are already in service, a number which could potentially double when the new Global 7000 and Global 8000 enter service in 2016 and 2017. There was also speculation over a potential order for Bombardiers new CSeries, arguably the most economical aircraft of its class right now and due to take to the skies in 2013. Al Baker was earlier in the year at the Bahrain Air Show seen visiting the Bombardier mock up display of the Cseries and there was talk of as many as 20 aircraft for Qatar Airways short haul flights out of Doha into the Gulf region, though that topic has since then gone out of the aviation media speculative headlines.
Important for East Africa, Qatar Airways will by the end of this year cover the region like no other foreign airline, with two daily flights to Nairobi, three daily flights to Dar es Salaam, and daily flights to Entebbe, Kigali, Kilimanjaro, Mombasa and Zanzibar. This offers travelers the most convenient way of connecting to the world from East Africa, when flying with QR via Doha.