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Qatar Airways expands European presence

By Hpanchal on September 16, 2011

Qatari flag carrier Qatar Airways has launched service to Sofia, Bulgaria. Operating the route four times a week, Qatar Airways has increased its European presence tremendously in the past nine months, also launching service to Bucharest, Budapest, Brussels, Stuttgart and Venice.

Europe, which accounts for one-quarter of Qatar Airways’ business, is a region of particular interest for the Doha-based carrier. In fact, the launch of service to Sofia brings the total number of European cities served by Qatar to 26. That number will soon grow to 27, however, as Qatar Airways will commence service to Oslo on October 3.

To Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker, the new European routes signal vast economic opportunities for his company. And Sofia, in particular, will open up new markets for businesses and travelers alike, he said.

“We are delighted to add Sofia to our international route network, further strengthening the traditionally excellent relations between our two countries,” he stated. “We are confident that Bulgaria will prove to be a great success for Qatar Airways and will open new doors for businesses and individuals.”

Sofia International Airport CEO Veselin Peykov also points to the benefits of this new service. “We are proud to welcome Qatar Airways to Bulgaria and to be able to offer our passengers a new gateway to over 100 destinations worldwide,” Peykov said in a statement. “Sofia Airport is growing at a sustainable pace, gradually turning into a regional hub and I am happy to welcome Qatar Airways on Bulgarian ground.”

Europe’s not the only region Qatar Airways is targeting, however. The carrier will launch service to Entebbe, Uganda, on November 2 and Chongqing, China, on November 28, with flights to Baku, Azerbaijan, and Tbilisi, Georgia, commencing on February 1.

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