Qatar Airways expands reach in South Africa with Durban-Doha route.
Durban, 17 December 2015: Multiple award-winning airline Qatar Airways brought Durban and Doha a step closer today with the introduction of a four-times-weekly flight between the two cities.
The newly launched Durban-Doha route is an expansion of the airline’s operations and decade long investment in South Africa. A total of 21 flights a week now connect South Africa to Qatar Airways’ global network. The Durban-Doha route is in addition to existing daily flights from Cape Town, and double-daily flights
from Johannesburg, directly to Hamad International Airport (HIA), Doha, with connecting service to hundreds of destinations worldwide.
Passengers flying with Qatar Airways will enjoy going places on board the airline’s Boeing 787 and experiencing the world’s best Business and Economy Class service, exceptional dining and up to
2,000 films, music titles and TV shows on Oryx One, the airline’s world-class inflight entertainment system. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, who arrived in Durban on the inaugural flight said: “As Durban continues to flourish, Qatar Airways wants to provide visitors to the city with the best service so that their journey is part of the experience. Qatar is one of South Africa’s largest trading partners in the Middle East and adding Durban to our existing South African routes will further strengthen the bond between the two countries, especially in the tourism sector.”
The Boeing 787 was greeted at King Shaka International Airport by a delegation of airport officials including the Province of KwaZulu-Natal’s Premier Mr. Senzo Mchunu, MPL, the MEC for
Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Michael Mabuyakhulu, the Mayor of eThekwini Cllr. James Nxumalo, Mr. Hamish Erskine, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Dube
TradePort and Mr. Terence Delomoney General Manager of King Shaka International Airport. The local dignitaries welcomed guests from Doha as they disembarked from the inaugural flight.
Trade between South Africa and Qatar currently stands at US$500 million a year, with Qatar being South Africa’s fifth largest trading partner in terms of imports. Each year, Qatar Airways transports more than 5,000 tonnes of air cargo from South Africa. The Premier of the KwaZulu-Natal Province, Mr Senzo Mchunu, welcomed Qatar Airways and remarked, “Direct long haul air services from Durban will continue to be very important for our province as they serve as the lifeblood of our economy, by opening up new markets for our goods around the world and delivering tourists to our shores. In order to position this city internationally we have taken a route to position Durban as the events capital of Africa, this approach has brought us a tremendous amount of international attention and support from the business community, delegates, tourists and fans from around the world.”
The new passenger services will complement Qatar Airways’ existing airfreight services in Durban. Qatar Airways Cargo, the world’s third largest cargo carrier, has been an active player in
connecting Durban with worldwide markets, including Doha. The DUBE TRADEPORT Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) – surrounding King Shaka International Airport and close to the ports of
Durban and Richards Bay – is expected to drive further growth in the area requiring greater need for cargo air lift from around the world.
“Durban is a major commercial and trade centre in South Africa, one of the busiest ports on the continent, and a popular tourism destination,” said Mr. Al Baker. “With its excellent aviation
infrastructure and the development of the Dube TradePort, there are tremendous opportunities for further growth in Durban and South Africa.” There is growing interest among tourists from the Middle East in travelling to Durban, recognised as a global tourism destination. Durban’s combination of outdoor activities and urban pursuits appeals to a vast array of holiday-makers.
The MEC for Economic Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr. Michael Mabuyakhulu added, “We greatly welcome Qatar Airways new flight service between Doha and
our state-of-the-art King Shaka International Airport. This move is in line with our ambitious plans of developing an aviation inspired conurbation, the Durban Aerotropolis, as a catalyst towards the stimulation of growth to unleash considerable business and employment opportunities for the people of KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa.”
The Doha – Durban schedules starting from 17th December 2015 are:
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
Depart Doha QR1367 at 07:45, arrive Johannesburg at 15:20
Depart Johannesburg QR1367 at 16:20, arrive Durban at 17:35
Depart Durban QR1368 at 18:45, arrive Johannesburg at 20:00
Depart Johannesburg QR1368 at 21:00, arrive Doha at 06:20 (next day)