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Qatar Airways extends reach in UK, Europe

Our Bureau

Mumbai , Nov. 12

QATAR Airways has implemented a codeshare agreement with bmi — the UK's second largest scheduled carrier, to increase its presence in the UK and continental Europe.

According to an official statement, the deal will extend Qatar Airways' reach in the UK and Irish markets to seven additional destinations and a further two on the European mainland using feeder services of bmi.

Qatar Airways, the national carrier of Qatar, currently flies from Doha to 53 destinations in Europe, West Asia, Africa, India and the Far East.

Under the new agreement, Qatar Airways' QR designated flight code between Doha and both London Heathrow and Manchester will be applied on selected onward bmi routes.

Passengers flying on Qatar Airways' double daily London Heathrow flights can connect onto bmi services to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, Leeds, Teeside, Brussels and Amsterdam.

And passengers travelling on Qatar Airways' Manchester route, served four times a week from Doha, can connect onto bmi's onward flights to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

Passengers benefit from through check-in to their final destination with boarding passes issued at the departure airport.

The statement quoting the Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, Mr Akbar Al Baker, said the codeshare agreement significantly enhances Qatar Airways' presence in UK regional markets and on the Continent.

Qatar Airways already has codeshare agreements in place with Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Alitalia, Garuda Indonesia, Thai Airways, Philippine Airlines, Biman Bangladesh, Middle East Airlines, Yemenia and a ticketing arrangement with SNCF French Railways.

Over the next four weeks, Beijing, Seychelles, London Gatwick will be added to the network, followed in January by Johannesburg, Cape Town and Yangon, increasing Qatar Airways' global reach from 53 to 59 destinations.

Further, the airline will launch five new routes at the start of the summer 2005 flying programme.

Osaka, Melbourne, Athens, Tunis and Algiers will be added from next March, extending Qatar Airways' global reach to 64 destinations from Doha.

By the end of 2005, the airline will operate to at least 70 destinations, including cities in North America and Australia.

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