Qatar Airways has ventured further into Northern Europe with the launch of scheduled flights to Norway yesterday.
Qatar Airways’ maiden flight from Doha to Oslo, QR953, arrives at the Norwegian capital’s international airport to a traditional water salute welcome on October 5.
Oslo, the capital of one of the top oil nations in the world, becomes Qatar Airways’ third Scandinavian gateway after Stockholm and Copenhagen, further cementing the carrier’s presence in the Nordic countries.
Recently named Airline of the Year 2011 in the annual Skytrax passenger survey, Qatar Airways’ new five-times-a-week service to Oslo comes less than a month after the award-winning airline added Sofia as another point in its European network.
Oslo became destination number 107 in the airline’s global route map and the 27th city served by Qatar Airways in Europe, a continent now representing 25 per cent of the airline’s international reach.
Flight QR953 touched down at Oslo International Airport to a traditional water salute welcome, followed by a ceremony attended by airport and government officials, together with members of the local business community and travel trade.
“Qatar Airways has reached yet another key milestone in Europe, with Oslo becoming our seventh European destination launched so far this year,” said Al Baker on arrival in the Norwegian capital.
“We are delighted to add this vibrant, scenic city of Oslo to our global route network, further strengthening our operations in Scandinavia and clearly proving how important this dynamic travel market is for Qatar Airways. We now operate 19 flights a week across three Scandinavian cities making Qatar Airways the biggest Gulf carrier in the Nordic market.
“We look forward to bringing visitors from around the world to this diverse cultural city and to the great leisure and business destinations in the region. Norway has limitless attractions of mountains and fjords, a great magnet for tourists from around the world to experience and enjoy,” added Al Baker.
“Qatar Airways already had significant traffic from Norway via the neighbouring cities we serve of Stockholm and Copenhagen before even starting our direct operations to Oslo.
With our new non-stop service we are pleased to offer passengers even faster and hassle-free connections to many exotic leisure destinations and business cities across the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Australia and Africa via Doha.”
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker, pictured centre, with Oslo Airport Managing Director Nic Nilsen, left, and CEO of the airport operator Avinor, Dag Falk-Petersen, during the arrival ceremony of the airline’s first flight to Norway.
Qatar Airways offers the fastest journey from Oslo to Melbourne – quicker than any other carrier – and convenient connections via Doha to many other popular destinations, including Singapore, Bangkok, Manila, Hong Kong, Dubai, Delhi, Shanghai, Colombo, Kuala Lumpur and Bali.
Oslo Airport Chief of Information Jo Kobro said: “Qatar Airways’ new route from Oslo to Doha offers a comfortable and efficient link to the Gulf region and beyond. This new service will be much welcomed by business and leisure passengers travelling to a wide choice of Qatar Airways’ onward destinations in the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. And the new service re-enforces Oslo Airport’s position as one of the leading airports in Scandinavia.”
The Oslo – Doha route is served with a wide body state-of-the-art Airbus A330 featuring 24 seats in Business Class and up to 236 seats in Economy.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker, second right, with airport and tourism officials in the spotlight during the arrival ceremony of Qatar Airways’ inaugural flight from Doha to the Norwegian capital Oslo.
The aircraft offers seatback TV screens in all classes providing passengers with next generation interactive onboard entertainment, including over 700 audio and video on demand options.
Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 100 aircraft to over 100 diverse business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America. By 2013, the fleet size will increase to more than 120 aircraft.
So far this year, Qatar Airways has added 11 destinations to its international map – Bucharest, Budapest, Brussels, Stuttgart, Aleppo, Shiraz, Venice, Montreal, Medina, Kolkata and Sofia – and is gearing up for more route expansion with a further two destinations – Entebbe and Chongqing – being inducted into the network by the end of November.