Qatar to operate 28 weekly flights from South Africa starting March 1
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Qatar Airways is set to increase Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg frequencies from March.
The airline said in a statement that it has “applied unrivalled knowledge of global passenger flows and booking trends” to rebuild its South Africa network.
By March 2021, Qatar will operate 28 weekly flights from South Africa.
The airline will operate seven weekly flights from Cape Town, which begin on March 1. It has already increased its weekly flights from Durban (3) and Johannesburg (18).
Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker said South Africa is a top market for the airline.
"We continue to demonstrate our commitment to the region by adding new routes and steadily increasing frequencies across the continent.
“As global travel recovers in 2021, we look forward to further expanding our network and offering more connections to and from Africa via the best airport in the Middle East, Hamad International Airport (HIA), to our global network of over 120 destinations," he said.
South African Tourism chief executive Sisa Ntshona said the news demonstrates that South Africa has put measures in place for safe travel during Covid-19.
“We are delighted at the confidence shown by Qatar Airways by increasing its air capacity to South Africa in these challenging times.
“This increase demonstrates to the world that South Africa has put the necessary measures in place to ensure that it is safe for travel in the Covid-19 environment.
“Air access is important for South Africa, as we to look to recovery post-Covid.
"Qatar Airways has an extensive global network that links travellers via Doha from our source markets.
“As we embark on our tourism recovery strategy, having airlines such as Qatar Airways play a supporting role by increasing its capacity will go a long way in assisting us to regain the international arrival numbers," Ntshona said.
Qatar Airways has become the first global airline in the world to achieve the prestigious 5-Star Covid-19 Airline Safety Rating by international air transport rating organisation Skytrax.
This follows HIA’s recent success as the first airport in the Middle East and Asia to be awarded a Skytrax 5-Star Covid-19 Airport Safety Rating.