Qatar Airways cuts flights to make room for World Cup fans

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker (R) and FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 CEO Nasser Al Hatel during a press conference at the Park Hyatt in Doha, Qatar on October 18, 2022. (Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters)

DOHA — Qatar Airways has withdrawn flights from 18 destinations to make room at Hamad International Airport for the airline to carry fans to next month’s soccer World Cup, the company’s CEO said on Tuesday. rice field.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said the priority now was to accommodate the hundreds of flights landing in the country for the tournament.

With approximately 500 daily shuttle flights and hundreds more charter flights and private jets scheduled, Qatar will run from 20 November to 20 December. The 18th tournament with approximately 1.2 million visitors.

A total of 32 nations will compete in eight stadiums located within 40 kilometers of central Doha.

CEO Akbar Al-Baker said at a press conference when asked if the airline is currently growing because of the World Cup, “actually no, there are no new destinations.” rice field.

“Quite the opposite. We have scaled back and withdrawn from 18 destinations to make room for fans at Hamad International Airport.

“Our priority is not the Qatar Airways network, but providing access to all participating countries and bringing in a large number of passengers.”

He said German airline Lufthansa is considering resuming operations along with Air France and KLM.

Hamad International Airport (HIA) COO Badr Mohammad Al-Mer said hundreds of flights are expected to land daily for the tournament.

Many fans also fly in just for the match, choosing to stay in neighboring Dubai.

“There are 500 shuttle flights a day, and the list of charter flights has not yet been finalized,” he said.