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Qatar expansion in South Africa

17 February 2021

DOHA, Qatar Qatar Airways continues to be the leading global carrier connecting South Africa by operating one of the largest and most reliable networks in the region. Having become the largest international carrier during the early stages of the pandemic, the airline has applied its unrivalled knowledge of global passenger flows and booking trends to rebuild its South Africa network to 28 weekly flights across Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are proud to be the leading international carrier connecting South Africa with Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the U.S., offering more flexible travel options and a global network of flights that passengers, trade and business partners can rely on. South Africa has always been a very important market to us and we continue to demonstrate our commitment to the region by adding new routes and steadily increasing frequencies across the continent. As global travel recovers in 2021, we look forward to further expanding our network and offering more connections to and from Africa via the Best Airport in the Middle East, Hamad International Airport, to our global network of over 120 destinations.”

South African Tourism CEO, Sisa Ntshona, said: “We are delighted at the confidence shown by Qatar Airways by increasing its air capacity to South Africa in these challenging times. This certainly demonstrates to the world that South Africa has put the necessary measures in place to ensure that it is safe for travel in the Covid-19 environment.  Air Access is important for South Africa, as we to look to recover post COVID and Qatar Airways has an extensive global network that links travellers via DOHA from our source markets. As we embark on our tourism recovery strategy, having airlines such as Qatar Airways play a supporting role by increasing its capacity will go a long way in assisting us regain the international arrival numbers.”

In line with the airline’s steady rebuild of its South Africa network, Qatar Airways increased frequencies to the following destinations:

Cape Town (increasing to seven weekly flights from 1 March)

Durban (increased to three weekly flights from 14 February)

Johannesburg (increased to 18 weekly flights from 26 January)

The national carrier of the State of Qatar continues to rebuild its network, which currently stands at over 120 destinations with plans to increase to over 130 by the end of March 2021.

Qatar Airways has become the first global airline in the world to achieve the prestigious 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating by international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax. This follows HIA’s recent success as the first airport in the Middle East and Asia to be awarded a Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating. These recognitions provides assurance to passengers across the world that airline health and safety standards are subject to the highest possible standards of professional, independent scrutiny and assessment. For full details of all the measures that have been implemented onboard and in HIA, please visit qatarairways.com/safety.

Passengers can book flights with peace of mind, knowing that Qatar Airways offers unlimited date changes and fee-free refunds for all tickets issued before 30 April 2021, for travel completed by 31 December 2021. The carrier’s industry-leading flexible booking policy also provides the permanent feature of exchanging tickets for a travel voucher with 10% additional value for all customers booking travel via qatarairways.com. For full terms and conditions visit qatarairways.com/Flexibility.

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’, and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class experience, Qsuite. The Qsuite seat layout is a 1-2-1 configuration, providing passengers with the most spacious, fully private, comfortable and social distanced Business Class product in the sky. Qsuite is available on flights to more than 45 destinations including Kuala Lumpur, London, Melbourne and New York. It is the only airline to have been awarded the coveted ‘Skytrax Airline of the Year’ title, which is recognised as the pinnacle of excellence in the airline industry, five times.

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