Berlin: Qatar Airways announced plans for rapid growth on Tuesday, as the travel industry recovers from the pandemic.
Announcing objectives at the ITB tourism fair in Berlin, the Gulf carrier said it would add seven destinations, restore 11 others and boost the frequency of flights to 35 markets - marking a 21 per cent rise in flights by July 2023, compared with the same month last year.
CEO Akbar Al Baker said the airline was being conservative because of its dependence on deliveries from Airbus or Boeing amid supply woes.
“Unfortunately it is not in their hands; I think supply chain problems will last a bit longer,” Al Baker told a news conference.
Newly planned airline destinations include five in Europe, including three in France, and two in Africa.
“The aviation industry is slowly rebounding ... (from) unprecedented pressures,” Al Baker said.
Al Baker noted upward inflationary pressure on ticket prices but said the airline was not passing on all fuel increases.
Al Baker, whose roles include tourism minister of Qatar, also announced a campaign to increase visitors to the Gulf state, building on attention from hosting the 2022 football World Cup to boost its domestic tourism industry.
He said Qatar aimed to increase the number of annual visitors threefold compared to 2019 levels to six to seven million, with a target of contributing to 10 per cent of its economy.