Doha-based carrier strengthens cargo business in the Gulf
Qatar Airways Cargo has expanded its dedicated freighter routes with new services to Kuwait. Freighter operations to Kuwait are served with an Airbus A300 freighter on the route boosting Qatar Airways Cargo capacity in the airline’s home region – the Gulf.
The new dedicated freighter route to the capital Kuwait City complements the existing freighter services in the Gulf to Riyadh, Dubai and Bahrain and will mostly be used to carry cargo goods ranging from perishables, consolidated shipment and pharmaceuticals to garments, food items and equipment for oil and petroleum companies.
The cargo upgrade in the Gulf follows Qatar Airways’ announcement of a major frequency increase of its regional passenger operations in Saudi Arabia, which will see routes to Riyadh and Jeddah go from daily to double daily services and Dammam securing an additional daily flight, all effective June 1. The Doha-based airline will also launch its newest destination in the Kingdom with four-flights-a-week to Medina on July 14.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said that the new cargo upgrade in the Gulf presented an opportunity to grow business in the carrier’s home region, where the airline maintains a strong passenger network with high frequencies on key routes such as Muscat, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Kuwait, as well as Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah.
“Adding Kuwait to our cargo network adds further momentum to our surge in trading in our neighbouring Gulf countries,” he said, adding, “Kuwait imports a lot of manufacturing goods and based on our prime geographic position, we can offer fast services from across South Asia, Africa, Europe, North and South America and Asia-Pacific.
Last year, Qatar Airways launched its first North American cargo route with dedicated freighter operations to Chicago – and received two of its three Boeing 777 freighters on order. Cargo operations for the airline will move to New Doha International Airport when the US$14.5 billion facility becomes operational and will provide a state-of-the art Cargo Terminal making Qatar Airways freight wing a major player in the global air cargo industry.
With Kuwait City joining the Qatar Airways Cargo network, the number of freighter destination served increases to 30 cities. A few weeks ago, Qatar Airways launched dedicated cargo services to Bengaluru, Kozhikode and Hanoi strengthening its reach in India and Vietnam.
By 2013, Qatar Airways plans to serve over 120 key business and leisure destinations worldwide with a modern fleet of more than 120 aircraft. Today, the airline’s fleet stands at 97 aircraft, flying to 100 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North and South America.
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