(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Qatar Airways has launched scheduled flights to Georgia on a day of route expansion that has seen two cities added to its global map.
The arrival of flight QR 976 to the capital Tbilisi via today s other route start-up of Baku, heralds the latest European point in Qatar Airways international network. Daily flights to both capital cities increase the carrier s European network to 29 cities.
After inaugurating seven new routes across Europe last year, today s addition of two destinations in south eastern Europe further diversifies Qatar Airways portfolio on the Continent. Destinations currently served across Europe include Ankara, Athens, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Bucharest, Budapest, Venice, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, London Heathrow and Madrid.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker flew on the inaugural flight from Doha to Tbilisi with a high-level delegation of guests, including Her Excellency Ekaterine Meiering-Mikadze, Ambassador of Georgia to the State of Qatar, and airline executives. The arrival included an Airport ceremony welcoming guests off the first flight.
Addressing guests on arrival at Tbilisi International Airport , Al Baker said Georgia was a highly underserved part of Europe, which prompted the airline to consider opening up the route.
"Today is an historic day for Qatar Airways as we embarked on our 2012 global expansion programme with not one, but two European route launches to both Tbilisi and Baku taking our international reach to 112 destinations worldwide," he said.
"We are delighted to open this route today, creating a new air corridor and providing the travelling public with more choice through additional air services.
"Georgia is a country with tremendous potential, rich in culture and history with large infrastructure developments taking place offering great business opportunities and a landscape providing a good base for family and independent tourism."
Home to more than 2,000 mineral springs and over 12,000 historical and cultural monuments four of which are recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Sites Georgia has plenty to offer holidaymakers.
The Baku Tbilisi Ceyhan pipeline is also assisting Georgia develop into an international transport corridor, alongwith the Batumi and Poti ports, further supporting the need for greater air services to facilitate business travel requirements.
"We look forward to bringing visitors from around the world to Tbilisi and its surroundings and, similarly, provide Georgians with the opportunity to fly to global destinations on Qatar Airways via our Doha hub," added Al Baker.
"As the only Five Star airline flying to Tbilisi , Qatar Airways is proud to bring its award-winning service to the people of Georgia."
From Doha, the airline offers excellent onward connections to cities across the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, including Dubai, Muscat, Kuwait, Entebbe, Shanghai, Singapore, Bangkok, Delhi, Goa and Melbourne.
Qatar Airways is operating an Airbus A320 in a two-class configuration on the route, featuring 12 seats in Business Class and up to 132 seats in Economy.
Regardless of class of travel, the aircraft offers all passengers seatback TVs to enjoy the next generation interactive onboard entertainment system with a choice of more than 700 audio and video on demand options.
Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 104 aircraft to 112 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America. Last year was a landmark 12 months for Qatar Airways, which inducted 15 new destinations to its network, and win the coveted Skytrax Airline of the Year Award.
As part of its 2012 expansion programme, Qatar Airways will launch flights to seven further destinations Kigali (Rwanda) from March 21; Zagreb (Croatia) from May 9; Perth (Australia) from July 3; with dates yet to be announced for other new routes Mombasa (Kenya), Zanzibar (Tanzania), Helsinki (Finland), and Gassim (Saudi Arabia).