Qatar Airways has announced a major expansion in South Africa with the launch of a new destination, Durban, while simultaneously increasing its weekly frequencies to Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Starting Dec. 17, the airline will launch four new weekly flights to Durban via Johannesburg, bringing the total frequency to Johannesburg up from 10 weekly flights to a double-daily service. From Oct. 1, it will be operating daily flights to Cape Town ahead of the busy winter travel season, an increase from five weekly flights this winter.
Durban will be Qatar Airways' third route to South Africa following Johannesburg and Cape Town, both of which started in Jan. 2005. All three routes will be operated with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker said the carrier's new home at Hamad International Airport will offer rapid and convenient connections for passengers from South Africa.
"At Qatar Airways we strive to provide our passengers with the best of service levels on ground and on board our modern fleet. We also provide our passengers with a strong global network of business and leisure destinations, and the city of Durban will be a welcome new addition to our extensive route map.
"Durban is an important gateway into South Africa and we are very confident that this route will be warmly welcomed like all our other routes in the African continent," he said.
The new Durban service and additional flights to South Africa will offer business and leisure passengers excellent connections to popular routes in Europe and the Far East such as London, Paris, Manchester, Frankfurt, Madrid, Beijing, Bangkok, Jakarta, Hong Kong and more.
Africa is key to Qatar Airways global network expansion strategy and the airline currently operates 140 flights per week to 19 African gateways. Since 2011, the airline has added to its global route network the African destinations of Entebbe, Kigali, Kilimanjaro, Maputo, Addis Ababa, Djibouti and Asmara.
Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 18 years of operation to the point where today it is flying a modern fleet of 147 aircraft to 146 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.