EghtesadOnline: Qatar Airways will continue to fly to Iran and has not lost any bookings despite a recent spike in Middle East tensions, Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker said on Wednesday.
A number of flights to Tehran were cancelled last week after the crash of a Ukrainian airliner in Iran, which Tehran later announced was shot down by mistake. Many airlines use Iranian airspace, including Qatar Airways.
Weeks after the United States imposed unilateral sanctions against Iran last year, Qatar Airways announced plans to expand operations in Iran, Financial Tribune reported.
Qatar Airways started a direct flight between Doha and Isfahan on Feb. 4, 2019.
The state-owned flag carrier of Qatar now operates two flights a week on Mondays and Fridays using an Airbus A320 from Doha International Airport to Isfahan International Airport.
Qatar Airways, considered one of the top 10 airlines, is capable of connecting Isfahan airport to 160 points worldwide. Isfahan's Shahid Beheshti Airport is the fourth Iranian airport hosting planes from the Qatari flagship airliner.
In fact, Qatar Airways' new route to Isfahan comes on top of the airline's other destinations in Iran, namely Tehran, Shiraz and Mashhad.
The new service features 12 seats in Business Class and 132 seats in Economy Class.
Qatar Airways has flights to Europe, North and South America, Central Asia, Far East, Oceania and Africa.
Isfahan International Airport currently has flights to Najaf, Baghdad, Iraq, Kuwait City, Dubai, Istanbul and Tbilisi.
“With its incredible, age-old architecture and bustling traditional bazaars, we are thrilled to announce Isfahan as Qatar Airways’ fourth-service gateway into Iran. Isfahan is a city that is not only steeped in history, but one that has also emerged in recent years to combine its rich cultural heritage with modernity, making it one of Iran’s most fascinating, colorful and lively places for international visitors. We are also delighted to announce that we are increasing our weekly services to both Shiraz and Tehran in January,” Qatar Airways’ chief executive has been quoted as saying.
“These latest launches are further evidence of Qatar Airways’ commitment to Iran, as well as the expansion of our network in this thriving market to provide greater connectivity to both business and leisure passengers alike,” Baker was quoted as saying by Qatar's daily newspaper The Peninsula.
Qatar Airways has operated flights to Tehran since 2004 and, with the introduction of two extra flights, the airline now operates a total of 20 weekly non-stop flights from Doha.
Iran grants holders of Qatari passports tourist visas upon arrival at Iranian airports.
Qatari nationals can obtain a single or multiple-entry visa from Iran’s Embassy in Doha, to avoid occasional delays at the port of arrival in case of crowding of passengers at the airport’s visa office.