Qatar Airways has announced plans to expand flights to Germany with the introduction of scheduled services to Stuttgart and greater capacity to Munich next year.
Stuttgart, to be served three-times-a-week, will be the Doha-based carrier’s fourth destination in Germany. Known as the “cradle of the automobile industry”, flights to Germany’s sixth largest city will begin on 9 March 2011. At the same time, Qatar Airways will increase frequency on the Doha – Munich route from daily flights to 11 services a week using Airbus A330 wide-body aircraft.
The news comes as Qatar Airways prepares to embark on a huge European expansion drive with the launch of flights to Nice, Budapest, Bucharest and Brussels over a 10 week-period from November 2010 to January 2011.
Qatar Airways’ new flights to Stuttgart and additional services to Munich will see the airline operate 31- flights-a-week non-stop from Doha to four destinations across Germany. The carrier already serves Berlin daily and Frankfurt with 10-flights-a-week.
By March next year, Qatar Airways will operate 182 flights a week to cities across Europe, one of the carrier’s key global markets.
The Airbus A319 single-aisle aircraft designated to operate the new Stuttgart route features a capacity of 110 seats – eight in Business Class and 102 in Economy. The aircraft is equipped with the state-of-the-art Oryx Entertainment system offering individual TV touch screens in each seat and over 700 audio video entertainment options.
The aircraft also features OnAir mobile telecommunication technology allowing passengers to send and receive SMS and MMS messages, as well as browse the web using their internet-enabled mobile device.
Located in southwest Germany, Stuttgart has a population of around 600,000 people with a metropolitan area of over five million inhabitants. The city is home to automobile car giants Porsche and Mercedes-Benz. Porsche is the majority shareholder of Volkswagen AG, the parent company of Volkswagen Group which owns luxury car brands Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said that the German expansion was long-awaited and represented the airline’s commitment to one of Europe’s biggest and strategically important markets.
“I would like to extend my thanks to the German authorities for providing Qatar Airways with greater access to Germany which has been a largely underserved market from the Gulf,” said Al Baker.
“Munich was our first route in Germany launched in 1998 and since then we have come a long way in the German market with more routes and more frequencies to give our passengers the choice they deserve.
“Securing Stuttgart and stepping up frequency to Munich, one of our most popular German routes, is a great boon for the airline. The market is there and Qatar Airways has been eager to capitalise on it, so we look forward to further strengthening our position in Germany during 2011. The new services will offer convenient connections to cities across the Middle East and Asia Pacific.
“Qatar Airways has a busy few months ahead with Europe figuring strongly in our expansion plans clearly demonstrating our commitment to this part of the world,” added Al Baker.
Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 89 aircraft from its Doha hub to 92 key business and leisure cities across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North and South America.