Saturday, June 26, 2010

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways
has officially announced details of a massive expansion plan in Europe and Southeast Asia which shall commence from the on set of the IATA Winter 2010 season. This includes the addition of 6 new cities to its ever expanding global network which include Phuket, Hanoi, Brussels, Budapest, Bucharest and Nice. In addition, QR has too revealed on the GDS that it shall be adding a third daily nonstop flight to BKK-Bangkok from Nov 2nd 2010 onwards using an Airbus A 330-300. This third daily flight enables connections in both directions via DOH to North America and all EU/African cities that depart between 745-1045am Doha time.

The main highlights of this expansion plan are as follows:

new 5 weekly nonstop flights to be flown using an A 332.

HKT (Phuket) -
new daily flights to be flown using an A 333 via KUL with full 5th freedom rights.

new four weekly flights to be flown using an A 333 via BKK with full 5th freedom rights.

SGN (Ho Chi Minh City) -
frequencies increased from 4 weekly to daily flights using an A 332 i.e. 3 weekly via BKK with full 5th freedom rights + 4 nonstop.

frequencies increased from double to triple daily nonstop flights using a B 777-300ER double daily + daily A 333.

new three weekly flights to be operated via MXP using an A 333.

new 4 weekly flights to be flown using an A 320 as a tag on triangular service.


Out of all these flights, BRU and Vietnam I feel has the best chance of being successful. Unlike its other EU route launches, BRU has a standardized timing which allows excellent connections via QR's Doha hub to connect beautifully in both directions to all of QR's Southeast Asian destinations + KHI, CMB, DAC and KTM. They will get a good amount of high yielding business class traffic on this route and give Etihad a tough time henceforth.

With regards to HAN, its an excellent move to fly there via BKK with 5th freedom rights especially now since Air France will be suspending flights to the city from October onwards. With HAN being the capital of Vietnam, one would expect QR to get a good amount of high yielding J class flying political/military traffic on board bound to Europe and GCC in particular.

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