QA starts flights to Baghdad; total destinations 116
TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK
DOHA QATAR Airways (QA) has in the span of just two weeks expanded passenger services to Iraq with the launch of its second destination in the country – to the capital Baghdad.
The is operating four flights a week non-stop on the Baghdad route. Located on the banks of the Tigris River, Iraq’s capital is one of the Arab world’s largest cities.
The move comes just two weeks after Qatar Airways launched flights, also fourtimes- a-week, to the northern Iraqi city of Erbil.
Cargo traffic bound for Iraq will see a boost when Qatar Airways launches a dedicated weekly freighter service to Erbil, from July 5
Both the Erbil and Baghdad passenger services are being operated with an Airbus A320 in a two-class configuration of 12 seats in business class and 132 in economy.
Qatar Airways Senior Vice- President GCC, Levant, Iran, Iraq and Indian sub-continent Fathi al Shehab was onboard the inaugural flight QR442 to Baghdad, which arrived at the city’s international airport to a traditional water salute welcome followed by an airport ceremony attended by local officials and media.
The addition of Baghdad takes Qatar Airways’ global network to 116 destinations worldwide. Qatar Airways’ passengers flying to Iraq from destinations across the Gulf, Europe, Indian sub-continent, Asia-Pacific and the Americas can seamlessly connect via the airline’s Doha hub.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar al Baker said: “Baghdad had long been on our list of destinations which we identified as being a key part of growing our Middle East network.
“During Iraq’s current period of reform and development, with industries resurging and many new companies expanding operations to Iraq, we felt this was the time to move into the country.
“With our new passenger flights to both Baghdad and Erbil, together with our new dedicated freighter service to Erbil starting next month, Qatar Airways is offering excellent capacity to and from the country.” Addressing the media, Shehab said: “Baghdad is a route which will help facilitate easy movement for those travelling from around the world on business to the country, with excellent connectivity via Doha.
“In addition, we are offering Iraqis living abroad with a more convenient way to return to Baghdad and neighbouring towns and cities. We provide our passengers with an exceptional award-winning onboard product and great connections to reach their families and homes.
“We have been working closely with the travel trade and corporations in Iraq and indeed across our international network to promote our new Iraq services.