Qatar Airways announced that Lagos will be the airline’s second route launch of 2007 with scheduled flights to Nigeria’s commercial and business capital beginning on March 1st, 2007.
Following the success of Qatar Airways’ new services to the east African city of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania at the beginning of January, the airline is preparing for further expansion on the African continent.
Qatar Airways will operate three flights a week between its hub in Doha, capital of the State of Qatar, and Lagos using the airline’s state-of-the-art Airbus A330 aircraft, in a two-class configuration of Business and Economy.
Nigeria is Africa’s most populated country with 130 million people and, apart from cocoa and rubber, its main industry is petroleum and related products.
Nigeria is currently one of the world’s biggest oil producers. With natural oil and gas the mainstay of Qatar’s economy, there are significant business and commercial interests in bridging links between both countries.
With the addition of Lagos, Qatar Airways will operate a wider African network that spans the entire continent, from Casablanca in the west and Cairo in the north to Nairobi in the east and Cape Town in the south.
The Doha-based airline looks forward to 2007 as a year of huge expansion with non-stop scheduled services planned to several key destinations around the world, including Bali, New York, Ho Chi Minh City, Chennai, Ahmedabad and two, as yet to be announced, cities in northern and eastern Europe.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the addition of Lagos reinforced the airline’s strategy to serve key cities around the world.
“We launched flights to Nairobi at the end of 2005, recently began services to Dar es Salaam and are now planning our newest route of Lagos on March 1,” he said.
“Lagos is a vitally important commercial and business centre and with the strong oil and gas interests in both Qatar and Nigeria, we expect a high level of business on the route, as well as from key feeder markets of the GCC countries.”
Lagos will be destination number 72 for Qatar Airways, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, which operates scheduled flights from Doha to cities across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and Far East with a fleet of 53 all-Airbus aircraft.
With a growing international network, Al Baker added that more travellers would have an opportunity to use Qatar Airways’ brand new Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport, exclusively for departing First and Business Class passengers.
The Premium Terminal features facilities such as a spa, jacuzzi, duty free, business centre and fine dining restaurants. Built in just nine months, the terminal is the world’s first commercial passenger building dedicated to First and Business Class passengers.