Qatar Airways eyes Kuwait in cargo expansion

Kuwait City added to freighter network, plans to convert A330 planes.


Qatar Airways Cargo said on Tuesday it has expanded its dedicated freighter routes with new services to Kuwait.

The new route to the capital Kuwait City complements the existing freighter services in the Gulf to Riyadh, Dubai and Bahrain, the airline said in a statement.

A few weeks ago, Qatar Airways also launched dedicated cargo services to Bengaluru, Kozhikode and Hanoi strengthening its reach in India and Vietnam.

The airline is pushing ahead with expanding its cargo unit, as it plans to convert 15 Airbus A330 passenger jets into freighters and acquire a 33 percent stake in Cargolux Airlines International SA, Europe’s biggest freight-only carrier.

The cargo upgrade in the Gulf follows Qatar Airways' announcement of a major frequency increase of its regional passenger operations in Saudi Arabia, which will see routes to Riyadh and Jeddah go from daily to double daily services and Dammam securing an additional daily flight, all effective June 1.

The Doha-based airline will also launch its newest destination in the kingdom with four-flights-a-week to Medina on July 14.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said that the new cargo upgrade presented an opportunity to grow business in the carrier's home region.

"Adding Kuwait to our cargo network adds further momentum to our surge in trading in our neighbouring Gulf countries," he said, adding: "Kuwait imports a lot of manufacturing goods and based on our prime geographic position, we can offer fast services from across South Asia, Africa, Europe, North and South America and Asia-Pacific."

Last year, Qatar Airways launched its first North American cargo route with dedicated freighter operations to Chicago.

Cargo operations for the airline will move to New Doha International Airport when the $14.5bn facility becomes operational.

With Kuwait City joining the Qatar Airways Cargo network, the number of freighter destinations served increases to 30 cities.

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