Qatar Airways has launched a new service to its eighth destination in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with four flights a week to Abha. The inaugural flight landed at Abha International Airport on September 2, 2015.
Qatar Airways flight QR1212, which landed at Abha international Airport at 15:40 yesterday was welcomed with a traditional water salute.
The airport ceremony was hosted by Qatar Airways Senior Vice President Aero Political & Regulatory Affairs Mr. Ali Al-Rais. At the official ceremony, Engineer Tariq Al-AbdulJabbar, Assistant Vice President of Domestic Airports welcomed the first Qatar Airways flight to Abha, followed by an exchange of gifts with Abha International Airport officials in the presence of local media.
“We have been steadily growing our presence and services to Saudi Arabia for the past 18 years,” said Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker. “As our eighth destination in the Kingdom, Abha will bring additional flexibility for passengers connecting from Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. From Abha, our passengers will now be able to travel seamlessly through our state-of-the-art Doha hub Hamad International Airport to popular cities such as London, Paris, Bangkok, Singapore, New York and Washington. At the same time this will provide passengers travelling to Saudi Arabia from international markets the convenience of another gateway.”
Qatar Airways began operations to the Kingdom in 1997 with non-stop flights to Jeddah. The airline has added Riyadh, Dammam, Madinah, Gassim, Ta’if and Al Hofuf to its portfolio of destinations, all non-stop to and from Doha, with connections to most of Qatar Airways’ destinations worldwide.
Qatar Airways currently operates 84 weekly flights to seven key cities in Saudi Arabia. The addition of Abha will increase the number of Qatar Airways’ weekly flights to Saudi Arabia to 88 non-stop flights.
The new route will be operated by an Airbus A320 with an average flight time of just over two hours. The aircraft will feature 144 seats in a two-class configuration of 12 seats in Business Class and 132 seats in Economy. Selected aircraft will feature seatback TV screens, providing passengers with the next generation interactive on-board entertainment system Oryx One, featuring a choice of more than 900 audio and video on-demand options, together with an SMS text messaging service from each seat.
The city of Abha is the capital of Asir, a south-western province in the Kingdom, rapidly gaining in popularity in the region as a tourist destination due to its attractions, its mild seasonal weather and breath-taking mountains.