Qatar Airways has announced plans to launch a total of 15 new destinations in 2017-18, up from the seven it had previously announced.
New additions to its route network include: Canberra – the airline’s fifth destination in Australia; Dublin, Ireland; Las Vegas, the airline’s 11th destination in the United States; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Kualanamu International Airport at Medan, Indonesia; and Tabuk and Yanbu, the 9th and 10th destinations in Saudi Arabia.
These cities join the already-announced list of new destinations to start in 2017 including: Auckland, New Zealand; Sarajevo, Bosnia; Skopje, Macedonia; Libreville, Gabon; Nice, France; Chiang Mai, Thailand; and Douala, Cameroon.
The Auckland route, which will start on February 5, 2017, will become the longest direct commercial flight in the world at more than 18 hours.
It was earlier scheduled to begin on December 3, 2016 but was delayed. The route will be operated by a Boeing 777-200 aircraft.
Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker said: “With this network announcement, we will be able to connect more people to more places than any other Gulf airline.”
The airline, which currently flies to over 150 destinations, began 12 new routes in 2016 year-to-date, with two more cities set to join the network in December.
The new cities added include Atlanta, Boston and Los Angeles in the United States; Birmingham, UK; Helsinki, Finland; Pisa, Italy; Yerevan, Armenia; Marrakech, Morocco; Ras Al Khaimah; Windhoek, Namibia; and Sydney and Adelaide in Australia.
Qatar Airways will begin services to Krabi, its third destination in Thailand, on December 6 and resume services to the Seychelles on December 12.
The carrier suspended its daily services to Seychelles’ capital Mahe in September 1, 2013 after operating the route for nine years.
It attributed the decision to “commercial reasons” at the time.