Qatar Airways has celebrated the official launch of its new direct daily route to Dublin, Ireland.
In this connection, Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar al-Baker landed in Dublin on Thursday to host a press conference celebrating the new service.
Al-Baker was welcomed at the airport by Dublin Airport chief executive Kevin Toland, Dublin Airport managing director Vincent Harrison and Sheikh Salman bin Jassim al-Thani from the Qatari embassy in London.
In a press statement, Qatar Airways said al-Baker hosted a crowded press conference on Thursday for Irish and international media from Australia and Qatar who were keen to hear about the latest plans of the airline.
During the conference, al-Baker confirmed that Qatar Airways is committed to bringing more visitors to Dublin, boosting tourism to the already popular Irish capital and its neighbouring cities. The new route will also give the people of Ireland the opportunity to connect to more than 150 destinations on the airline’s global network via its hub in Doha, Hamad International Airport.
Al-Baker said, “Dublin has long been on our list of destinations to add to our route map, and I am proud that we are here today to celebrate this important milestone in the history of our airline. We are here to serve the people of Ireland with a world-class service connecting them to business and leisure destinations on our global network.
“It is also our pleasure to promote Ireland as a tourism destination to our loyal passengers who have already shown their appetite for Dublin.”
Toland, who joined the press conference in Dublin, said: “We want to express our warmest welcome to Qatar Airways and its new daily route between Dublin and Doha. We welcome tourists from Doha and beyond to enjoy Ireland’s traditions and lively culture.
“There are many great reasons to take a break in Dublin, which is a wonderful, vibrant and exciting city.”
Qatar Airways has said it will continue to expand its global network in 2017 and 2018, giving Irish passengers and expatriates living in Dublin the opportunity to “travel seamlessly” to more than 150 destinations. An additional 26 new destinations will be launched in 2017 and 2018, including Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Accra, Ghana; Canberra, Australia; Chiang Mai, Thailand; and Mombasa, Kenya.
The new direct flights to Dublin will also provide Qatar Airways Cargo customers with 80 tonnes of belly-hold capacity each week. Temperature-controlled products are the major exports out of Ireland and the cargo carrier is proficient in supporting the air logistics through its specialist solutions, QR Pharma for pharmaceuticals and QR Fresh for perishables.
Qatar Airways said it has already made an impact in Ireland with its new service flying at almost full capacity in the last few weeks since its launch. The airline has also made its presence in the market felt with key sponsorships at events around the city, including the Dublin Horse Show and the Darley Irish Oaks Day at the Curragh Racetrack.
The Dublin-Doha flight schedule is as follows: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sundays - QR 017 departing Doha at 7.45am and arriving in Dublin at 1.20pm, and QR 018 departing Dublin at 3.25pm and arriving in Doha at 12.30am; Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday - QR 019 departing Doha at 1.50am and arriving in Dublin at 7.25am, and QR 020 departing Dublin at 8.50am and arriving in Doha at 5.55pm.