OREANDA-NEWS. June 22, 2012. Qatar Airways today announced a further expansion of its African operations with plans to launch scheduled flights to Mozambique, effective October 31.

Thrice-weekly flights will operate from Doha to Mozambique’s capital city of Maputo via Johannesburg, becoming the 20th African destination served by the award-winning airline.

The former Portuguese colony in southern Africa becomes Qatar Airways’ fourth new route across the diverse African continent to be launched during 2012. The Maputo service will be operated by the airline’s flagship long-haul Boeing 777 aircraft.

Bordering the Indian Ocean, Mozambique has an economy based on natural resources, largely agriculture. Chemical manufacturing, aluminium and petroleum production are significant growth sectors, attracting investment from around the world. Maputo is a city steeped in colonial architecture reflecting its strong Portuguese heritage.

Mozambique is another example of Qatar Airways’ commitment to open up access to destinations that are largely underserved by international airlines and have great market potential.

In Africa alone this year, Qatar Airways has pursued its strategy aggressively of focusing on underserved markets. The carrier recently launched daily scheduled services from its Doha hub to Kigali, the capital of Rwanda in east Africa.

On July 25, Qatar Airways will start daily operations to Kilimanjaro, the airline’s second Tanzanian gateway, followed on August 15 by the introduction of daily flights to Mombasa, its second point in Kenya, with both destinations aimed largely at the leisure market. Last year, Africa secured two new routes – Benghazi in Libya and the Ugandan city of Entebbe.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “This truly is the year of an African adventure for Qatar Airways with the introduction of four new routes on this Continent of diverse landscapes, diverse peoples, diverse cultures and diverse natural attractions.

“At Qatar Airways, we have a robust planning team that is always busy evaluating and researching potential markets with the underlying mission to open up new destinations that are highly underserved internationally. Whether in Africa, Europe, Asia, Middle East or Americas, we have identified great opportunities where other carriers dare not venture into.

“Mozambique is a great example of a market that we believe has great potential linking up with key feeder markets in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world.”

Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 15 years of operation, currently operating a modern fleet of 109 aircraft to 116 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.

Since the beginning of the year, aside from the launch of flights to Kigali, Qatar Airways has begun services to Baku (Azerbaijan); Tbilisi (Georgia); Zagreb (Croatia), Erbil (Iraq) and Baghdad (Iraq), with many more new destinations planned during 2012.

Over the next few months, aside from Kilimanjaro and Mombasa, Qatar Airways launches services to a diverse portfolio of new routes, including Perth, Australia (July 3); Yangon, Myanmar (October 3) and a date yet-to-be-announced to the Serbian capital Belgrade.