Qatar Airways announced plans to serve the southern Chinese industrial port city of Guangzhou from the start of the summer flying season to further cement its position in one of the world's fastest growing economies.
Beginning March 31, Doha-based Qatar Airways will become the first airline from the Gulf to serve Guangzhou. It will operate four flights-a-week non-stop using an Airbus A330 aircraft in a two-class configuration of up to 24 seats in Business Class and a maximum 248 in Economy.
The addition of Guangzhou strengthens Qatar Airways' China network, where it already flies to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong with a total of 16 flights a week. Guangzhou takes the airline's capacity into China up to 20 flights a week. From May 1, Qatar Airways adds a fifth weekly service to Guangzhou.
Passengers flying Qatar Airways from Europe, Middle East and Africa will have excellent connections to Guangzhou via the airline's operational hub of Doha, capital of the State of Qatar.
The new services will provide a strong sporting link as Doha hosted the biggest ever Asian Games in 2006, while Guangzhou is set to host the next sporting extravaganza in 2010.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said Guangzhou would complement the airline's daily services to Hong Kong, offering business and leisure travellers an exciting opportunity to visit two key Chinese cities in such close proximity to each other.
Qatar Airways' China operation currently includes daily flights to Hong Kong; four weekly services to Beijing; and five services a week to Shanghai. The airline operates a modern fleet of 60 Airbus and Boeing aircraft to 81 destinations across the Middle East, Africa, Indian Subcontinent, Far East and North America.