A Qatar Airways cabin attendant at work. The airline will add more scheduled flights from Doha to Krabi.
Qatar Airways has announced that it will upgrade its non-stop flights on the Doha-Krabi route to become a daily service, with plans for adding Chiang Mai as a new destination for the airline in the pipeline as well.
The additional services come despite the airline being denied access to the airspace of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates as part of economic sanctions imposed by the bloc in June.
The airline will increase non-stop flights to Krabi on Dec 1. Qatar Airways currently offers four flights a week to the destination.
The increase reflects a strong traffic demand on the route, which was only introduced last December.
Qatar Airways will switch to smaller aircraft on the route before the increased frequency in flights, according to airline executives.
From September to November, the airline will use smaller Airbus A319 narrow-body jets on the route, replacing A330-300s, which will be deployed on Qatar’s other routes that yield higher traffic.
The airline will switch back to A330-300s for the Doha-Krabi flights when the daily service takes off on Dec 1, just in time for the peak travel season.
Qatar recently confirmed its plans for the start of Doha-Chiang Mai services but did not give any specific timing for the launch.
The airline had earlier indicated that the Doha-Chiang Mai non-stop flights would begin on Oct 31, with four flights a week using A330-300s.
Chiang Mai is listed among the 26 new destinations that Qatar Airways is planning to introduce between now and the end of 2018. The others include Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco and Santiago.
In addition to Krabi, Qatar Airways operates five daily non-stop flights between Doha and Bangkok and two daily flights on the Doha-Phuket route.
The airline plies Airbus A380 superjumbos, Boeing B777-300ERs and B787-8 Dreamliner jets on the Doha-Bangkok route.
Meanwhile, Qatar Airways is also boosting its services to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to expand its Asian network, which airline chief executive Akbar Al Baker sees as an important step towards the growth of the flag carrier.