Qatar Eyes Osaka Encore

QATAR AIRWAYS has published plans to link its Doha hub with Osaka/Kansai. The non-stop direct service is due to start on April 6, 2020 and will mark the carrier’s third Japanese destination.

While billed as a ‘new’ route, Airports of the World readers may recall that the Qatari airline served the city until spring 2016 using Airbus A330s. For its return, the firm will roster its state-ofthe- art A350-900 jets in a twoclass configuration comprising 36 business class and 247 economy seats.

The carrier initially intends to resume its Osaka connections on a five-times weekly basis, rising to a daily frequency from June 23, representing a major boost for the complex.

Qatar Airways’ first foray into the Japanese market was in 2010 with direct flights to Tokyo/Narita. Four years later, the Qatari flag carrier launched operations between Doha and Tokyo/Haneda – a facility which is often popular with visitors because it offers speedy access to downtown districts. It is also a favourite for aviation enthusiasts thanks to its vast rooftop viewing platform from where you can see rare examples from around the world.

Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways group chief executive noted: “Osaka is a very important destination, and our service to the cosmopolitan city will enable us to provide a seamless journey for our passengers connecting from our extensive network of more than 160 destinations worldwide.”

While the rate of growth within its network has slowed slightly in recent months, Qatar Airways continues to expand its international footprint.

The carrier – which now boasts a fleet of more than 250 aircraft – is due to add the Malaysian island of Langkawi, Gaborone in Botswana and the Angolan capital Luanda to its route map in the next six months.

(Photo Qatar Airways)