Korea a Key Market for Qatar Airways
“After Tokyo, Seoul is the second-largest metropolitan area in the world with residents in the capital area comprising of almost 25 million people. Such a large population within a short distance of Incheon International Airport represents an important market for us,” Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al-Baker said during a recent press conference for Korean journalists at the carrier’s headquarters here said.
“We continue to see Seoul as a key contributor to our overall network.”
Previously, the airline provided an Incheon-Doha route that involved a transfer in Osaka, Japan and took a total of 14 hours and 30 minutes. The new direct route will shorten travel time by 5 hours and operate seven times a week. Passengers on the Incheon-Doha route will be provided with Korean meals and a wide variety of entertainment choices in Korean. There are 300 Korean flight attendants working with the airline.
There are high business expectations from the Korean market with the non-stop flight.
“Korea is one of the biggest importers of natural gas in the world, and imported around $8.4 billion worth of natural gas from Qatar in 2009. To support this business, there are many people travelling between Seoul and Doha for work purposes,” he said.
The direct flight is expected to increase the number of passengers and improve cooperative relations in various cultural and sporting areas as well. The trade volume between the two countries is some 17 billion dollars. A large number of projects featuring Korean firms are taking place in the Middle East, including construction projects in Qatar, as well as a $20 billion nuclear power plant project in Al Ain in the U.A.E.
Al-Baker said he takes great pride in the fact that the airline has been able to expand and provide high quality services for passengers, despite the global downturn that has affected many airlines worldwide. [Read More]