QATAR AIRWAYS will double the frequency of its flights to Japan later this year, with the launch of a new direct daily service to Tokyo.
The Doha-based airline currently offers daily flights to Tokyo’s Narita airport, via Osaka. But from 28 October this year, the carrier will commence a new non-stop Doha-Tokyo service, doubling its Japanese flights to 14 per week.
Following the launch of the new direct service, Qatar Airways will drop the Tokyo connection from its Osaka service, meaning it will offer dedicated daily direct services to Japan’s two largest cities.
“It is a significant step by Qatar Airways as we show our confidence in the Japanese travel market,” said Akbar al Baker, the airline’s chief executive.
“Japan has been a key market for us ever since we launched operations to Osaka in 2005. Two years ago, Qatar Airways began daily flights to Tokyo, but we have been working closely with the local authorities to ensure we secure suitable slots at Narita to make Tokyo a non-stop service, which now becomes a reality from 28 October at the start of the northern winter flying programme.
“A dedicated Tokyo service means a great deal to the travel community in and around Japan’s capital city, as we are now able to offer an enhanced one-stop product taking passengers to an… array of destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Americas. Similarly, we are now able to offer a one-stop service from our network to Tokyo via Doha,” he added.
The new services will depart Doha daily at 0330, arriving in Tokyo at 1900. The return flights will depart Narita at 2230, landing back in Doha at 0430 the following day. The route will be served using a two-class Boeing 777-200 aircraft featuring 42 seats in business class and 217 in economy.
The new Tokyo route is the latest stage in a major expansion for Qatar Airways in 2012. Since the beginning of the year, the airline has launched flights to Baku, Tbilisi, Kigali, Zagreb, Erbil and Baghdad, while flights to Yangon (Myanmar) are scheduled to commence in October.