Qatar Airways adds Krabi and Chiang Mai in major expansion

Akbar Al Baker (centre) addresses media at ITB Berlin
Akbar Al Baker (centre) addresses media at ITB Berlin

Qatar Airways will start flying to the Thai tourist hubs of Krabi and Chiang Mai this year, as part of a major network expansion that will see it launch 14 new global destinations.

The Doha-based airline will commence four weekly flights to the resort province of Krabi and three weekly flights to the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai in December 2016. This will double the number of Thai gateways Qatar Airways serves, following its existing flights to Bangkok and Phuket.

Elsewhere in Asia Pacific, Qatar Airways will launch direct flights to Auckland on 3 December. The announcement of this new daily service comes just weeks after Emirates started flying direct from Dubai to New Zealand’s largest city, creating the world’s longest air route. Qatar Airways’ service will be slightly longer.

The other new destinations being launched by Qatar Airways this year are Pisa, Sarajevo, Helsinki, Skopje, Nice, Marrakech, Windhoek, Douala, Libreville, Lusaka and the Seychelles.

Krabi is home to the famous Railay Bay
Krabi is home to the famous Railay Bay

The announcements were made that ITB Berlin, where the airline’s group CEO, Akbar Al Baker, addressed the media.

“Qatar Airways prides itself on being a global connector, and most importantly providing seamless and convenient connections for our customers, so that we remain their airline of choice,” he said.

“These new destinations are where our customers want to go, and where we see the most opportunity to provide a best-in-class experience at great value. We look forward to growing our network and welcoming new passengers to Qatar Airways.”

These destinations are in addition to the new 2016 routes already launched or announced by Qatar Airways. Flights to Los Angeles started in January, Ras Al Khaimah in February and Sydney in March. A new service to Boston gets underway on 16 March, while flights to Birmingham will start on 30 March, Adelaide on 2 May, Yerevan on 15 May and Atlanta on 1 June.

This means that in total, Qatar Airways will end 2016 flying to 22 more destinations than it did at the close of 2015.

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