Qatar Airways maiden flight to Chengdu being received with a traditional water salute.
Chengdu/Doha: Qatar Airways has expanded its operations in China with the launch of scheduled flights to Chengdu, the airline’s sixth destination to China.
Flight QR884 arrived at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport to an impressive water salute, following its non-stop journey from the airline’s operational hub in Doha, capital of the State of Qatar. All passengers and operating crew of the maiden flight received a warm welcome from the airport officials.
The new thrice-weekly flights now join Qatar Airways’ five other Chinese gateways — Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Chongqing – for a total of 41 flights per week.
Qatar Airways’ maiden flight to Chengdu receives a warm welcome at the city’s international airport earlier today.
“Qatar Airways saw an immense potential to operate in Chengdu, which is set to play a critical role in the next wave of economic development in Western China,” said Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, Akbar Al Baker.
“It’s hardly a surprise, therefore, that nearly half of the world’s Fortune 500 companies have opened offices in the city, and that Chengdu is aiming to become China’s fastest growing aviation hub.”
The new Chengdu flights represent the significance of China’s growing economy in the worldwide context. Significant industries in Chengdu include: electronics and information; machinery, particularly automotive and aerospace parts; medicine; food and tobacco processing; metallurgy; and petroleum.
“Qatar Airways is delighted to launch our latest gateway in China,” Al Baker said. “The opening of Chengdu shows our commitment to a vibrant and flourishing economy in the country’s next key economic and transportation hub. We remember fondly in 2011 when we launched Chongqing, offering the first non-stop route from Western China to the Middle East. We are extremely honoured to have another opportunity to contribute to this thriving region yet again.”
Chengdu becomes the 130th destination in the Qatar Airways global network, and now adds to over 15 percent of the airline’s routes which fly across Asia.
The Chengdu route is operated with an Airbus A330 in a two-class configuration of up to 248 seats in Economy and 36 in Business Class. The aircraft features seatback TV screens providing all passengers in both cabins with the next generation interactive onboard entertainment system – a choice of more than 900 audio and video on demand options.
Added Al Baker: “2013 has been a fantastic year for Qatar Airways and today we expand to eight new routes since this January. Over the next few years, we will increase our global footprint, providing greater travel options for business and leisure passengers, taking them to key business markets, holiday hotspots and underserved regions around the world.”