Dubai: Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways will operate 42 weekly flights to Doha during the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar. The airline currently operates 18 weekly flights between the two destinations.
The airline, which will operate six daily flights between Doha and Abu Dhabi, is also provisioning charter capacity to support large groups of fans travelling to the tournament, an Etihad spokesperson said in a statement to Gulf News.
“As the first Fifa World Cup to be held in the Middle East and one of the biggest global sporting events since the pandemic, we look forward to bringing fans to Doha to enjoy the beautiful game,” said the spokesperson.
Etihad’s flights to Doha will cost more than Dh4,000 on the first day of the tournament, according to current indicative fares. Rates are seen coming down to Dh1,600 by November-end.
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Last week, many Gulf airlines announced day-time shuttle services to Doha from major travel points such as Dubai, Jeddah, Riyadh, Kuwait City and Muscat. Dubai-based flydubai will operate up to 60 daily flights, Kuwait Airways will fly up to 20 flights a day and Oman Air will operate 42 daily flights. Saudi flag carrier Saudia will operate up to 30 daily flights.
flydubai will be operating the shuttle flights from Dubai’s Al Maktoum airport. The airline recently moved several of its flights to the emirate’s second airport as Dubai International’s northern runway stays closed for refurbishment work.
flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith said that the World Cup will make a big contribution to Qatar’s economy. “Having recently hosted an Expo, we know first-hand the positive impact of such events not only on the travel and tourism sector, but also the wider economy,” he said during a press conference in Doha last week.
The World Cup will be played from November 21 to December 18.