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Mideast problems fail to scare buoyant Qatar Airways

June 14, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Qatar Airways, which has just recorded an annual revenue jump of 10.4%, will add a record number of 24 new destinations over the next year, including routes to San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro and Dublin.

Qatar Airways will add 66 Airbus SE A350 planes over the next five years. The carrier isn’t fretting over the current diplomatic crisis affecting of Middle East states, some of which accuse tiny Qatar (pronounced cutter) of supporting causes that back terrorism.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates last week suspended ties with Qatar, severing air, sea and land links. See: Mideast tensions now drag in Qantas and planemakers

While the move caused the suspension of Qatar’s flights to the four Middle Eastern countries, Qatar Airways is keeping its wider network running by using a restricted corridor to its north.

The airline’s annual report for fiscal year 2017 (1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017) shows a 21.7% year-on-year net profit increase. The results also show an annual revenue rise of 10.4%.

Qatar Airways’ available seat kilometres (ASK) grew by 21.9% in the fiscal year 2017, to 185,208 million.

Qatar Airways group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “Our annual results once again reflect the success of our expansion and growth strategy that has seen the Qatar Airways Group grow from a small regional airline into an aviation powerhouse over the last two decades.

“As we celebrate our 20th anniversary in the industry, I am proud to share our annual results with the world so that they can see how far we have come as an airline group and how our dedicated team of more than 43,000 employees have worked together to make Qatar Airways the huge success it is today.”

During the fiscal year 2017, Qatar Airways has made significant investments and partnerships; launched 10 new destinations; announced industry-changing on-board product developments and expanded its modern fleet to 196 aircraft.

In July 2016, the airline announced an increase in its stake in International Airlines Group (IAG) from 15.24% to 20.01%, strengthening its position as a shareholder in one of world’s biggest airline groups. A further strategic investment was made by the airline in December 2016, when it acquired 10% of LATAM Airline Group’s total shares.

Other key partnerships secured throughout the same period include a joint business agreement with IAG subsidiary, British Airways, with revenue sharing on the London Heathrow-Doha route, as well as new codeshare partnerships with airlines such as Finnair, Iberia, Sri Lankan, Vueling and Air Botswana.

During the fiscal year 2017, the airline added 10 new destinations: Adelaide, Australia; Atlanta, United States; Auckland, New Zealand; Helsinki, Finland; Krabi, Thailand; Marrakech, Morocco; Pisa, Italy; Mahé, Seychelles; Windhoek, Namibia; and Yerevan, Armenia.

Written by Peter Needham

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