Qatar Airways is planning three-times weekly services between Doha and Montreal in June using Boeing 777 aircraft, which would make it the first Gulf airline to fly directly to the Canadian city.
The move marks the latest twist in Canadian-Gulf trade relations. Canadian visitors have had to obtain visas to enter the UAE since January, in response to the Gulf state’s frustration at the lack of Canadian slots being made available to Emirates and Etihad Airways.
It’s an interesting decision on another level, given that Air Canada has been among the flag carriers expressing concern about the global expansion of Gulf airlines.
Alongside the Montreal announcement, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said it will increase its A380 orders from five “in the next several months”, without divulging further details.
He said while the Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s original schedule has slipped, he was happy with its progress and expected to receive the first plane in December. The airline has 60 787s on order including options.
The first phase of the $14.5bn New Doha International Airport – which is so large it will have its own monorail running through the terminal – is due to be completed by the end of 2012.
For more information visit qatarairways.com.
Report by Dominic Ellis