Qatar Airways announces Indian expansion

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Mumbai, Apr 23 (UNI) Qatar Airways today announced its plans to operate the airline's third gateway in Kozhikode, Kerala -- the southwest Indian coastal city, from June 15 onwards.

The Airways will operate daily non-stop services between Doha - capital of Qatar and Kozhikode using an Airbus A320 aircraft. The Airline already serves Cochin and Trivandrum in Kerala and other six cities across India.

With a current capacity of 51 flights, a week spread across Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Cochin, Trivandrum, Nagpur and Hyderabad, Qatar Airways operates an extensive network of services throughout the country. The addition of Kozhikode, its ninth destination in India, takes the airline's frequency into the country up to 58 flights a week.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said, the latest route announcement reinforced the airline's commitment to expand its award-winning five-star service across India.

''India today is by far the largest single market for Qatar Airways with a network of eight, and, soon nine cities served non-stop from Doha,'' he said.

''An economic powerhouse rapidly developing its infrastructure across all industries, India is enjoying tremendous growth. Aviation is just one of the key sectors benefitting from such development and the Airways is delighted to be part of this economic growth facilitating travel India to and fro, Mr Baker expressed.

''During 2007 alone Qatar Airways launched three new routes to India. Our new services to Kozhikode will only strengthen our position in this highly important market, he said.

''There is a large concentration of expatriates from Kerala living and working at Gulf, and along with tourists from across the world, the Airways looks forward to welcoming passengers on our new services to make it a highly successful launch into our third gateway in Kerala,'' he explained.

''The addition of Kozhikode demonstrates our long-term commitment to India and we look forward to develop our network further across India as we explore new route opportunities to give the travelling public even more choice,'' Mr Baker added.

UNI AR GR SY AS1811

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