Qatar Airways expands reach in South Africa with Durban-Doha route

17 December 2015

Multiple award-winning airline Qatar Airways brought Durban and Doha a step closer today with the introduction of a four-times-weekly flight between the two cities. The newly launched Durban-Doha route is an expansion of the airline’s operations and decade-long investment in South Africa.

Qatar Airways

A total of 21 flights a week now connect South Africa to Qatar Airways’ global network. The Durban-Doha route is in addition to existing daily flights from Cape Town, and double-daily flights from Johannesburg, directly to Hamad International Airport (HIA), Doha, with connecting service to hundreds of destinations worldwide.

Passengers flying with Qatar Airways will enjoy going places on board the airline’s Boeing 787 and experiencing the world’s best Business and Economy Class service, exceptional dining and up to 2,000 films, music titles and TV shows on Oryx One, the airline’s world-class inflight entertainment system.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, who arrived in Durban on the inaugural flight said:  “Durban is flourishing the world wants to travel here and Qatar Airways wants to connect travellers with global destinations, providing them with the best service available and making their journey part of the experience.

“Qatar is one of South Africa’s largest trading partners in the Middle East and adding Durban to our existing South African routes will further strengthen the bond between the two countries, especially in the tourism sector,” Mr Al Baker added.

The Boeing 787 was greeted at King Shaka International Airport by a delegation of airport officials including the Province of KwaZulu-Natal’s Premier Mr. Senzo Mchunu, MPL, the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Michael Mabuyakhulu, the Mayor of eThekwini Cllr. James Nxumalo, Mr. Hamish Erksine, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Dube TradePort and Mr. Terence Delomoney General Manager of King Shaka International Airport. The local dignitaries welcomed guests from Doha as they disembarked from the inaugural flight.

Trade between South Africa and Qatar currently stands at US$500 million a year, with Qatar being South Africa’s fifth largest trading partner in terms of imports. Each year, Qatar Airways transports more than 5,000 tonnes of air cargo from South Africa.

The Premier of the KwaZulu-Natal Province, Mr Senzo Mchunu, welcomed Qatar Airways and remarked, “Direct long haul air services from Durban will continue to be very important for our province as they serve as the lifeblood of our economy, by opening up new markets for our goods around the world and delivering tourists to our shores.  In order to position this city internationally we have taken a route to position Durban as the events capital of Africa, this approach has brought us a tremendous amount of international attention and support from the business community, delegates, tourists and fans from around the world.”

The new passenger services will complement Qatar Airways’ existing airfreight services in Durban. Qatar Airways Cargo, the world’s third largest cargo carrier, has been an active player in connecting Durban with worldwide markets, including Doha. The Dube TradePort Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) - surrounding King Shaka International Airport and close to the ports of Durban and Richards Bay – is expected to drive further growth in the area requiring greater need for cargo air lift from around the world.

“Durban is a major commercial and trade centre in South Africa, one of the busiest ports on the continent, and a popular tourism destination,” said Mr. Al Baker. “With its excellent aviation infrastructure and the development of Dube TradePort, there are tremendous opportunities for further growth in Durban and South Africa.”

There is growing interest among tourists from the Middle East in travelling to Durban, recognised as a global tourism destination. Durban’s combination of outdoor activities and urban pursuits appeals to a vast array of holiday-makers.

The MEC for Economic Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr. Michael Mabuyakhulu added, “We greatly welcome Qatar Airways new flight service between Doha and our state-of-the-art King Shaka International Airport. This move is in line with our ambitious plans of developing an aviation inspired conurbation, the Durban Aerotropolis, as a catalyst towards the stimulation of growth to unleash considerable business and employment opportunities for the people of KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa.”

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The Doha – Durban schedules starting from 17th December 2015 are:

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays

Depart Doha QR1367 at 07:45, arrive Johannesburg at 15:20
Depart Johannesburg QR1367 at 16:20, arrive Durban at 17:35

Depart Durban QR1368 at 19:00, arrive Johannesburg at 20:15
Depart Johannesburg QR1368 at 21:15, arrive Doha at 06:05 (next day)

About Qatar Airways:

Qatar Airways, the national carrier of the State of Qatar, is one of the fastest growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world. Now in its 18th year of operations, Qatar Airways has a modern fleet of 173 aircraft flying to 154 key business and leisure destinations across six continents. Qatar Airways won Airline of the Year, Best Business Class Airline Seat and Best Airline in the Middle East at the 2015 Skytrax Awards. This is the third time the airline won the accolade of Airline of the Year.

Qatar Airways is a member of the oneworld global alliance. The award-winning alliance was named the World’s Best Airline Alliance 2015 by Skytrax for the third year running. Qatar Airways was the first Gulf carrier to join global airline alliance, oneworld, enabling its passengers to benefit from more than 1,000 airports in more than 150 countries, with 14,250 daily departures.

This year, Qatar Airways launched Oryx One, an enhanced interface for its inflight entertainment system, increasing the number of movies and TV shows on board from 950 to up to 2,000. Passengers flying on Qatar Airways flights served by its B787, A350, A380, A319 as well as select A320 and A330 aircraft can also stay in touch with their friends and family around the world by using the five-star airline’s on-board Wifi and GSM service.

Qatar Airways Cargo, the world’s third largest cargo carrier, serves more than 45 exclusive freighter destinations worldwide via its Doha hub and also delivers freight to more than 150 key business and leisure destinations globally on 173 aircraft. The Qatar Airways Cargo fleet now includes six Airbus 330, eight Boeing 777 freighters and one Boeing 747 freighter.

For more information, visit www.qatarairways.com.