Qatar Airways hopes to fly to 80 destinations by June

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will begin a phased approach to expanding its network this month.

The Middle Eastern carrier said growth would be in line with passenger demand and the expected relaxation of entry restrictions around the world.

Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “As we follow the indicators of the global travel market on a daily basis, we continue to focus on our mission – how we can enable mobility for our customers and provide them with seamless connectivity to their final destination.”

With entry restrictions constantly evolving, accurately predicting future travel is challenging.

However, while the expectation is that short haul travel will rebound first, business between large global cities will pick up more gradually and there will be a move towards visiting family and friends following months of lockdowns.

Qatar Airways will take full advantage of its diverse and efficient fleet with the right aircraft size to ensure the best fit for expected demand on each planned route.

By the end of , the aim is to have 80 in the schedule including 23 in Europe, four in the Americas, 20 in Middle East/Africa and 33 in Asia-Pacific.

The gradual expansion will focus initially on strengthening connections between the airline’s hub in Doha with the global hubs of its partner airlines around the world including London, Chicago, Dallas and Hong Kong along with reopening many major business and leisure destinations such as Madrid and Mumbai.

Currently the airline continues to operate flights to more than 30 destinations around the world.

By the end of May, the airline plans to grow its network back to over 50 destinations resuming services to cities such as Manila, Amman, and Nairobi.

A further number of destinations are planned to be added by the end of June.

Repatriation

Qatar Airways is also in the process of transporting thousands of British travellers home who became stranded in India and Pakistan as a result of Covid-19 lockdown measures.

To date, the carrier has arranged 32 repatriation flights to transport over 8,500 passengers back to the.

The airline also recently secured seats for the repatriation of 480 Fred Olsen and Carnival crew members to the Philippines who became stranded in the UK in April.

Gary Kershaw, Qatar Airways UK & Ireland country manager, said: “It’s been a pleasure to support the UK government’s repatriation efforts over the last few weeks.

“The entire team at Qatar Airways understands the importance of being with family and loved ones during this difficult time and so has worked incredibly hard to take people home since this pandemic began.”

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