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DOHA: Qatar Airways yesterday announced it would launch flights to two more destinations in Iraq starting this summer.
The addition of the port city of Basra in southern Iraq and Sulaymaniyah in the northern part of the country will take to five the number of destinations served by the airline across the country.
Flights to Basra are due to begin on June 3 with Sulaymaniyah starting on August 20. Both destinations will be served four-times-a-week non-stop from the airline’s hub in Doha.
Qatar Airways began operations to Iraq last summer with flights to the capital Baghdad and Erbil, followed in January this year by new services to Najaf. The airline currently operates 12 flights a week across the three cities. The new capacity will take the frequency up to 20 weekly services across Iraq.
Fuelled by the reconstruction drive in the country and demand for more air services to Iraq, Qatar Airways is expanding its operations in Iraq in line with its strategy to enter underserved markets.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker (pictured) said: “With today’s announcement of flights starting to the cities of Basra and Sulaymaniyah this summer, Qatar Airways is offering new travel options to the people of Iraq and for those involved in the reconstruction efforts of the country.
“After years of restricted air access for foreign airlines in many parts of Iraq, Qatar Airways has been working with the authorities to open up services and are delighted to have expanded our operations there in such a short space of time, doing our bit in the country’s rebuilding efforts.”
The convenient timings of the Doha–Basra and Sulaymaniyah flights will provide passengers with good connections to key destinations across the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific.
Both routes will be operated with an Airbus A320 featuring 144 seats in a two-class configuration of 12 seats in Business Class and 132 in Economy.
The Doha–Basra schedules: 4-times-a-week, effective June 3.
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays QR448 departs Doha at 0725 hrs to arrive in Basra at 0905 hrs. QR449 departs Basra at 1005 hrs which will arrive in Doha at 1145 hrs.
The Doha–Sulaymaniyah schedules: 4-times-a-week, effective August 20.
Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays QR438 departs Doha at 1335 hrs to arrive in Sulaymaniyah at 1600 hrs and QR439 departs Sulaymaniyah at 1700 hrs to arrive in Doha at 1915 hrs.