According to Al Baker, the increased numbers meant that flight frequencies to and from Durban went from one flight to three flights a week, one to seven flights weekly in Cape Town, and seven to 18 flights per week in Johannesburg.
The new schedules, starting in March 2021, would offer Qatar passengers “more flexible and reliable travel options,” the official said.
“We are proud to be the leading international carrier connecting South Africa with Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the United States – offering more flexible travel options and a global network of flights that passengers, trade and business partners can rely on,” he said.
He said South Africa has always been a very important market to Qatar Airways, “and we continue to demonstrate our commitment to the region by adding new routes and steadily increasing frequencies across the continent.”
He revealed that as global travel recovers in 2021, the airline looks forward to further expanding its network and offering more connections to and from Africa to over 120 destinations.
South African Tourism chief executive Sisa Nthona welcomed Qatar’s new flights plans as a great boost in the Rainbow Nation’s “tourism recovery strategy.”
“This certainly demonstrates to the world that South Africa has put the necessary measures in place to ensure that it is safe for travel in the coronavirus pandemic environment,” Ntshona said.
According to Ntshona, air access is important for South Africa as the country looks to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, “and 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 regain the international arrival numbers,” Ntshona said.