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Qatar Airways’ inaugural flight to Mozambique’s capital city of Maputo arrives to a water salute at the city’s international airport yesterday.
Maputo, Mozambique: Qatar Airways yesterday announced the launch of scheduled flights to Mozambique, its latest foray on the African continent and 10th new route of the year.
A release issued by the carrier said it inaugurated the first of three weekly services to the country’s capital city of Maputo, gateway to Mozambique’s rich natural resources and a source for strong business.
The launch is further testament to Qatar Airways’ strategy to operate to underserved markets that have huge potential for scheduled international flights. Qatar Airways is the first and only airline from the Middle East flying to Mozambique, which becomes its 19th gateway across the African continent, the release added.
Flight QR584 arrived in Maputo last morning to a water salute and a welcome by traditional dancers followed by an airport ceremony attended by more than 80 local dignitaries and media.
Guests on the inaugural flight to the former Portuguese colony included Cristiano dos Santos, Consul General of the Republic of Mozambique to UAE, responsible for Qatar; and Salem Abdullah Sultan Al Jaber, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Qatar’s Embassy in South Africa with responsibility for Mozambique.
The arrival ceremony at Maputo International Airport was attended by a number of guests, including Mozambique’s Minister of Transportation and Communication Paulo Zucula; CEO of Mozambique Airports Authority Manuel Veterano; and CEO of Mozambique Civil Aviation Afonso Sande Cuinhane.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the latest route marked yet another significant milestone for the award-winning airline that has spread its international wings to its 19th gateway in Africa and - 10th new route of the year so far.
Qatar Airways Senior Manager Africa, Rashid Mordiffi, who led a delegation on the inaugural flight, added: “Launching these new flights to Maputo shows our confidence and commitment to this vibrant economy. Being an important port in Mozambique, Maputo is a vital economic supply corridor to neighbouring landlocked countries in Southern Africa and strategically well positioned.
Qatar Airways is flying its flagship long-haul Boeing 777 aircraft on the Maputo route, featuring 335 seats in a two-class configuration of 42 Business Class seats and 293 in Economy.
The aircraft also features the airline’s award-winning entertainment system offering a fully interactive audio and video system of more than 1,000 programmes.
Across Africa, the airline flies to 19 cities – Alexandria, Algiers, Benghazi, Cairo, Dar es Salaam, Entebbe, Luxor, Casablanca, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Khartoum, Kilimanjaro, Kigali, Lagos, Maputo, Nairobi, Seychelles, Tripoli and Tunis.
Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 15 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 111 aircraft to 120 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.
Since the beginning of 2012, Qatar Airways has launched flights to Baku (Azerbaijan); Tbilisi (Georgia); Kigali (Rwanda); Zagreb (Croatia), Erbil (Iraq), Baghdad (Iraq), Perth (Australia), Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) and Yangon (Myanmar).
Over the next few months, Qatar Airways will launch services to a diverse portfolio of new routes, including Belgrade, Serbia (November 20); Warsaw, Poland (December 5), Gassim, Saudi Arabia (7 January 2013); Najaf, Iraq (January 23); Phnom Penh, Cambodia (February 20); and Chicago, USA (April 10).