(MENAFN - Arab News) Qatar airways has inaugurated its seventh gateway into the kingdom of saudi arabia by adding the city of al-ahsa to its ever-growing network.
the new route to al-ahsa international airport will comprise four weekly non-stop flights from the airline's hub in doha and will increase the number of qatar airways' weekly flights to the kingdom of saudi arabia from 75 to 79.
the inaugural flight which carried qatar airways dignitaries was greeted with a traditional water cannon salute and naif al-ghamidi al-ahsa airport director led the welcoming committee.
the launch is part of the continued expansion of qatar airways' services to saudi arabia which began in 1997 with non-stop flights to jeddah. since then the airline has added riyadh dammam madinah gassim and tai'f to its portfolio of destinations within the kingdom.
'we have offered our excellent global connectivity to customers from saudi arabia for more than 15 years and with the introduction of this new route we look forward to offering our five-star services and global connectivity to even more customers to and from al ahsa" said akbar al-baker qatar airways ceo.
'as we continue to expand our network and receive more aircraft we will keep looking at opportunities to add capacity to our existing network and further strengthen our links within the gulf."
the new al-ahsa route will be served by an airbus a320 aircraft in a two-class configuration with 12 seats in business class and 132 seats in economy.
in addition to this new route qatar airways has also recently announced plans to double its weekly frequency to gassim and increase the number of flights to madinah from weekly flights to daily operation.
details of the new routes and additional frequencies are as follows:
al-hofuf (saudi arabia) a new service of 4 flights per week starting on 15 may gassim (saudi arabia) doubling from 4 to 8 flights per week from 15 may madinah (saudi arabia) increased from 5 to 7 flights per week from march 30.
al-hofuf flights schedule as of 15 may 2014:
tuesday wednesday thursday and friday
from doha to al-ahsa: qr1200 departure doha at 08.05; arrival al ahsa at 09.05
from al-ahsa to doha: qr1201 departure al ahsa at 10.10; arrival doha at 11.10
qatar airways has seen rapid growth in just 17 years of operation to the point where today it operates a modern fleet of 134 aircraft to 138 key business and leisure destinations across europe the middle east africa asia pacific north america and south america.
over the next few months the network will grow further with new routes to istanbul sabiha gokcen airport turkey (may 22 2014) edinburgh scotland (may 28 2014) miami us (june 10 2014) haneda japan (june 18 2014) dallas/fort worth usa (july 1 2014) and djibouti (july 27 2014).