Qatar Airways Celebrates New Service Between Doha and Durban

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Two days of celebrations marked the launch of Qatar Airways’ new four-times-weekly service between Doha and Durban last week in the South African beach front city.

Qatar Airways’ inaugural flight QR1367, which departed from Doha’s Hamad International Airport, at 07:45 on 17 December, completed a fly-by of Durban’s beach front before landing at King Shaka International Airport. The dramatic beach fly-by caught the attention of holidaymakers and the local community, and images quickly spread on social media channels across South Africa and beyond.

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 Erskine, 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.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, who arrived in Durban on the inaugural flight said: “It is a great pleasure to further expand our worldwide network with the addition of Durban. We have connected the people of South Africa with our expanding global network for a decade and it is with much delight that we open a third gateway in this beautiful country.

“Durban’s prestige as a tourism destination is attracting an increasing number of travellers who deserve the world-class service and best in class value that only Qatar Airways can deliver.”

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 celebrations continued on Friday 18th December with a media briefing and VIP lunch at Camp Orchards, Hillcrest, hosted by Mr. Al Baker, and attended by local dignitaries including the Premier of the KwaZulu-Natal Province, Mr Senzo Mchunu, MPL, the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Michael Mabuyakhulu and the Mayor of eThekwini, Cllr. James Nxumalo.

The same afternoon an outdoor event took place on Durban beach front, adjacent to Moyo Pier, where local artist Pumelelo Kole recreated the Doha skyline out of sand. The 2x3 metre construction was unveiled to the waiting crowd and international, national and local social media influencers who had the opportunity to take selfies with Qatar Airways Cabin Crew next to the artwork.

The launch of the new service between Doha and Durban on Thursday 17 December 2015, complements the airline’s existing daily flights to Cape Town and double-daily flights to Johannesburg, and is an expansion of the airline’s operations in South Africa. Travellers can now choose from a total of 21 flights a week to South Africa from Qatar Airways’ hub, Hamad International Airport.

Passengers to and from Durban will have the opportunity to enjoy award-winning Business and Economy Class service while travelling on a Qatar Airways Boeing 787, including up to 2,000 films, music titles and TV shows on Oryx One, the airline’s world-class inflight entertainment system. One of the newest aircraft in the Qatar Airways fleet, the Boeing 787, also known as the Dreamliner, accommodates 254 seats configured in two classes.

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The Doha – Durban schedule:

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.