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QATAR AIRWAYS LAUNCHES DAILY FLIGHTS TO KOLKATA
Former Indian Capital Becomes Carrier’s 12th Destination In Country
Kolkata, INDIA – Qatar Airways has widened its passenger flight network in India with the launch of daily non-stop scheduled services from Doha to Kolkata.
Formerly known as Calcutta, addition of the latest route reaffirms the carrier’s commitment to India where it now operates 95 flights a week across 12 destinations.
In addition, the Doha-based airline also operates twice-weekly freighter services to Kolkata, one of six Indian destinations where Qatar Airways already offers dedicated cargo flights.
The inaugural flight QR 294, carrying a full load of passengers including international media, arrived at Kolkata's Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport earlier today to a traditional water salute welcome following its five-hour flight from the capital of the State of Qatar.
Kolkata, capital of West Bengal state in eastern India, is the country’s third largest city with a metropolis population of over 15 million people.
It is also the commercial capital of eastern India taking advantage of its lucrative location on the Hooghly River, and is regarded as the country’s cultural and intellectual capital. Kolkata also once served as the capital city of India.
Home to a rich mix of creeds and cultures, Kolkata boasts colonial buildings, monuments, elegant buildings and India’s only tram system – the oldest operating electric tram in Asia – reflecting the days of the British ruling India.
With excellent connections from Europe, Middle East, Africa, United States and Canada, Qatar Airways’ newest passenger route is expected to appeal to expatriates returning to Kolkata, as well as the international business community having strong commercial links with the city and surrounding areas.
Kolkata now becomes part of Qatar Airways’ large family of routes in India that also covers Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Trivandrum, Cochin, Kozhikode, Goa, Amritsar and Bengaluru (Bangalore).
Speaking about the airline’s newest route launch, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “Introduction of our latest destination has been well timed to coincide with the busy holiday season as families travel to and from India, one of our most important markets.
“As our 12th Indian gateway, the addition of Kolkata demonstrates Qatar Airways’ commitment to one of the world’s fastest growing economies with India’s rapid pace of development prompting the need for more flights to serve rising demand for air travel to and from the country.
“Qatar Airways has strategically positioned itself as a global connector flying passengers seamlessly across continents, from East to West in comfort and style, with an award-winning service onboard that has become the envy of others across the global airline industry.”
Recently named Airline of the Year 2011 by global industry audit Skytrax, Qatar Airways now flies to over 100 diverse business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America with a modern fleet of 98 aircraft. By 2013, Qatar Airways plans to serve more than 120 destinations worldwide with a fleet of over 120 aircraft.
The airline’s aggressive 2011 expansion programme has so far seen the launch of 10 new routes – Bucharest (Romania), Budapest (Hungary), Brussels (Belgium), Stuttgart (Germany), Aleppo (Syria), Shiraz (Iran), Venice (Italy), Montreal (Canada), Medina (Saudi Arabia) and, now, Kolkata.
Over the next few months, Qatar Airways launches flights to the following destinations, further extending its global reach. Sofia (Bulgaria) on September 14; Oslo (Norway) on October 5; Entebbe (Uganda) on November 2; Baku (Azerbaijan) and Tbilisi (Georgia) on November 30.
The DOHA – KOLKATA schedules:
Depart Doha QR294 at 1940 hrs, arrive Kolkata 0310 hrs the following day
Depart Kolkata QR295 at 0410 hrs, arrive Doha 0700 hrs
Qatar Airways operates one of the youngest fleet of aircraft in the skies today. It has orders worth over US$ 40 billion for more than 200 aircraft, including Boeing 787s, 777s, Airbus A350s, A380s, A320 Family of aircraft and Bombardier corporate jets. The rapid expansion of Qatar Airways prompted the State of Qatar to embark on one of its biggest projects – the construction of a brand new international airport in Doha, which is scheduled to open in 2012. For more information on Qatar Airways, visit www.qatarairways.com