Qatar Airways set for major growth in 2009, adds Australian points

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Qatar Airways has unveiled a major expansion of its network today at the ITB Berlin travel exhibition, which will see it add services to six more destinations this year - including two Australian cities and two points in Europe - and increase frequencies to other points.

Speaking to Flight International at the airline's Doha base ahead of the ITB Berlin event, chief executive Akbar Al Baker said: "We are not going to slow down. We are redeploying our capacity, adding new destinations and increasing frequencies to existing points."

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 © Boeing

The Qatari flag carrier will begin serving its third US destination, Houston, this month with 259-seat Boeing 777-200LRs. These ultra-long-haul twinjets will be used to launch direct flights to Sydney and Melbourne from October, subject to Australian government approval. This year the airline will also add two more Indian points - Amritsar and Goa, as well as two undisclosed European cities, taking its total destination count to 88.

During the year it will also increase frequencies to eight destinations across its global network. These comprise points in Africa (Algiers, Lagos and Tunis), Asia (Manila and Kuala Lumpur), Europe (Geneva) and the Middle East (Mashad and Muscat).

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 © Qatar Airways