(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Qatar Airways takes 'great pride in its role in being a trade enabler and connector for Vietnamese and international businesses and passengers, said Group Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker.
He was speaking following the touch down of Qatar Airways' first flight from Doha to Da Nang, Vietnam yesterday.
The first Qatar Airways flight to Da Nang was welcomed with a celebratory water cannon salute.
Qatar Airways flight QR 0994 departed Hamad International Airport (HIA) yesterday at 2.30am and landed in Da Nang at 1.20pm local time.
On board the inaugural Qatar Airways flight to Da Nang, al-Baker, was joined by the Vietnamese ambassador to Qatar Nguyen Dinh Thao.
The VIP delegation was greeted upon arrival by Qatari ambassador to Vietnam Mohamed Ismail al-Emadi, standing deputy secretary (Danang Municipal Party Committee) Vo Cong Tri, Vietnam Civil Aviation Administration deputy director general Vo Huy Cuong, Da Nang International Airport acting director Le Xuan Tung, Da Nang Tourism Department director Ngo Quang Vinh, and Da Nang City Department of Finance director Nguyen Van Phung.
Al-Baker said, 'Qatar Airways is very pleased to extend its reach into Vietnam by launching our third gateway into this beautiful country. The addition of Da Nang to our global network further demonstrates our commitment to the Far East region, a highly important market for Qatar Airways. And we are excited for passengers travelling to and from central Vietnam to experience our award-winning service and product for themselves.
'With 56 weekly passenger flights to and from Vietnam, we take great pride in in our role in bringing passengers to and from this beautiful county and also being a trade enabler and connector for Vietnamese and international businesses.
On the new route launch, ambassador Thao said, 'This year marks the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Qatar, and we are delighted to welcome Qatar Airways to Da Nang, its third Vietnamese destination.
'The direct flight to Doha will play a crucial role in connecting central Vietnam passengers and freight to the rest of the world. With the increased connectivity, we also look forward to welcoming more tourists to Da Nang, the tourist capital of South Central Vietnam.
Tung said, 'Da Nang International Airport is the third busiest airport in Vietnam and is an important transportation hub in the central region. Being only two kilometres from the city centre, the launch of this direct flight will further boost Da Nang's position as the commercial and educational centre of Central Vietnam. It is a fantastic follow-up to Qatar Airways' introduction of daily services to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in January of this year, and we appreciate Qatar Airways' strong support for
Qatar Airways will operate its Da Nang service four-times weekly with a Boeing B787-8 aircraft, featuring 22 seats in business class and 232 seats in economy.
Passengers will be able to enjoy the airline's superior entertainment system- Oryx One, offering up to 4,000 entertainment options.
Qatar Airways Cargo, the world's second largest cargo carrier has a strong presence in Vietnam with six weekly freighter services to Hanoi, seven weekly freighter services to Ho Chi Minh City and 28 weekly belly-hold flights to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and now Da Nang.
Qatar Airways Cargo will offer more than 1,400 tonnes out of the country each week, where businesses in the country will benefit not only from direct cargo capacity to Middle East, Europe and Americas but also regular services and reduced transit times. Major exports from Da Nang will consist of garments, perishables and electronics.
Da Nang, one of the largest cities in Vietnam, is known for its sandy beaches and remarkable history as a French colonial port. The 'charming city offers magnificent views of Da Nang Bay and its beautiful Marble Mountains, making it an ideal destination for a relaxing summer vacation.
Qatar Airways began direct services to Ho Chi Minh City in 2007 and launched its Hanoi service in 2010. In October 2017, Qatar Airways announced its interline partnership with Vietnam-based Vietjet Air, allowing Qatar Airways passengers to travel to and from points in Vietnam not served directly by Qatar Airways using a single reservation across both airlines' networks.
The launch of Da Nang marks the 14th new direct route to be introduced by Qatar Airways in 2018.