Qatar to open Athens-New York service in 2013

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Qatar Airways is to open a fifth-freedom service connecting Athens with New York, which will begin in mid-2013.

The airline will extend its Doha-Athens service - in place since 2004 - to cover the transatlantic route. Qatar flies Doha-Athens twice daily.

Olympic Airlines used to serve New York but the demise of the Greek flag-carrier has left the capital lacking connectivity.

Qatar Airways chief Akbar Al Baker, confirming the route plan, described the Doha-Athens service as a "combined symbol of a home base and a gateway".

Schedule data shows that Qatar Airways uses Airbus A320-family twinjets to serve the Athens route, but the carrier has not indicated the aircraft type which will be used to operate the transatlantic sector.