Beginning 16th July, the airline commenced four weekly passenger services to Sialkot where it already operates dedicated freighter services. A day later, on 17th July, Qatar Airways added Faisalabad to its Pakistan network with three flights a week.
Sialkot, which is in Pakistan's Punjab province and is one of the country's most populated cities, is famous for producing and exporting textiles due to its close proximity to Kashmir. With such a high volume of products being exported from the city, Qatar Airways Cargo has been operating a direct freighter service to Sialkot since 2008.
Faisalabad is a city of more than seven million people located in the province of Punjab. A major centre of industry and manufacturing, the city which has seen rapid development is a major contributor towards the country’s GDP, contributing over 20%.
Sialkot and Faisalabad have joined Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, and Peshawar as Qatar Airways’ routes to Pakistan served by non-stop flights from the airline’s Doha hub. In the coming weeks, Multan will also be added as the airline’s next Pakistani destination with three flights a week commencing from 2nd August.
"Qatar Airways has a long-standing commitment to serve Pakistan and we are delighted to operate an exceptionally comprehensive route network covering the length and breadth of the country," said His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive.
Qatar Airways currently operates 45 flights a week spread across four cities in Pakistan – double daily flights to Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, and three flights a week to Peshawar. Karachi was first launched by the airline in 1995, Peshawar in 1998, Lahore in 1999 and Islamabad in 2004.
Qatar Airways is operating an Airbus A320 in a two-class configuration of up to 12 seats in Business Class and up to 132 in Economy Class on the two new routes to Pakistan. With four new destinations on the horizon (Multan, Abha, Ras Al Khaimah and Durban) Qatar Airways will increase its global portfolio to 154 destinations across Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, North America and South America. The carrier currently operates a modern fleet of 162 aircraft.
The Doha – Sialkot schedules are:
Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays
Depart Doha QR 626 at 01:10, arrive Sialkot at 06:50
Depart Sialkot QR 627 at 09:35, arrive Doha at 11:15
The Doha – Faisalabad schedules are:
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
Depart Doha QR 622 at 01:10, arrive Faisalabad at 06:35
Depart Faisalabad QR 623 at 09:45, arrive Doha at 11:15
Qatar Airways operates 63 flights a week from the UK to Doha, 42 from London Heathrow, 7 from Edinburgh and 14 flights from Manchester.
Flight QR004 from Heathrow, QR028 from Edinburgh and QR024 from Manchester are perfectly timed to offer effortless onward connections to these new destinations.