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Qatar Airways CEO eyes 20 new routes by 2013

New aircraft will be introduced to fleet every month during 2011.
Qatar, NEWS, Aviation

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Qatar Airways, which has just received a new long-range plane from Boeing, has plans to launch flights to 20 new destinations over the next three years.

The Doha carrier received the new B777-200 Long Range aircraft, its seventh, last week and said the eighth was on schedule for delivery later this month.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker announced the order of two additional long range Boeings at last month's Farnborough Airshow that will be used to target new ultra long-haul markets.

The Boeing 777-200 Long Range currently operates non-stop between Doha and Houston, Melbourne and Sao Paulo, the latter route continuing onto Buenos Aires.

The airline has yet to announce to which destinations the new aircraft will operate.

"Qatar Airways has a plan to substantially grow its network. In the next three years, the airline will open at least 20 new destinations. With new aircraft deliveries averaging more than one per month, including the 787 Dreamliner from Boeing next year, Qatar Airways is well on track to achieving its goal of 120 destinations by 2013," Al Baker said.

"The Long Range Boeing offers Qatar Airways the capability to serve virtually any key city in the world non-stop from the airline's hub in Doha," he added.

Qatar Airways is already midway through an expansion drive that includes opening 13 new routes over a 12 month period.

Seven new routes have been launched since February including Bengaluru (Bangalore), Copenhagen, Ankara, Tokyo, Barcelona, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires.

Six further routes are scheduled to be launched over a four month period from October, with the additions of Phuket (October 12), Hanoi (November 1), Nice (November 24), Bucharest (January 17), Budapest (January 17) and Brussels (January 31).

By 2013, Qatar Airways plans to serve 120 key business and leisure destinations worldwide with a modern fleet of 120 aircraft.

Today, the airline's fleet stands at 86 aircraft, flying to 92 destinations across six continents.

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