UGANDA (eTN) – It was confirmed yesterday that the outspoken CEO of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Bakr, will be present at the launch of flights between Doha and Entebbe on November 2, when the inaugural flight will come to Uganda. Also published was the schedule for the new connections, which will see the new kid on the block fly daily nonstop using an A320 aircraft.
Officials at the Civil Aviation Authority this correspondent spoke with expressed their delight with the additional flights, saying that “the expansion by Qatar Airways in this region is a natural progression,” considering that the airline is already serving Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.
A source from the Qatar Airways’ office in Kampala pointed out that Entebbe will be the airline’s 16th African destination which is “a commitment to connecting Africa via Doha to the world.”
Qatar, in the limelight this year for bagging the FIFA World Cup for 2022, has in recent years made a significant impact on the global aviation scene and will next year open a brand new “super airport” only a few miles away from the current terminal, making it a new hub of Qatar Airways, the fastest-growing premium airline in the recent past. The new mega airport will give connecting travelers the best facilities when open, be it in the quality of duty-free shopping, lounges, restaurants and other facilities, and cater for the expected growth in traffic routing via Doha in the future.
Parallels are becoming visible when comparing the airline’s global expansion drive with Gulf “cousin” Emirates, which successfully put itself on the aviation map, and Qatar Airways is pursuing a similar global growth, with the added component of being a “5-star airline” as far as in-flight services are concerned. Presently operating a fleet of just over 100 aircraft, this number is set to double when deliveries commence of the B787 Dreamliner, more B777 aircraft already on order, and of a range of Airbus models including the giant A380 and the brand new A350, which is still under development by the European manufacturer.