The first Qatar Airways non-stop flight from Doha to Sarajevo touched down on Tuesday at Sarajevo International Airport, where it was greeted with a traditional water cannon salute. The newly launched service to the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina will operate four times a week, on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, with a flight time of six hours, the Doha-based carrier has said in a statement.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar al-Baker travelled on board the inaugural flight with the ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Qatar, Tarik Sadovic, whose support led to the launch of the scheduled service, and was greeted by Qatar’s ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rashid bin Mubarak al-Kuwari; director of Sarajevo International Airport Armin Kajmakovic, and mayor of Sarajevo Abdulah Skaka.
Al-Baker said, “Following the launch of service to three Eastern European capitals this summer, we are excited to be adding Sarajevo as our fourth destination in this region to our global route network. As the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, we are confident that this will be a popular and much-anticipated gateway into the country for both business and leisure travellers from across our network.
“With four weekly flights in service, passengers travelling from Sarajevo are now connected seamlessly to more than 150 destinations, via our state-of-the-art hub in Doha.”
Akbar al-Baker marks the launch of the new Doha-Sarajevo service with other dignitaries and officials.
Ambassador Sadovic said, "Following the launch of the Doha to Sarajevo direct flight service, we open a new chapter in relations between two friendly countries: Qatar and Bosnia and Herzegovina. This will greatly facilitate our co-operation and initiate development in various areas. We thank the Emir of the State of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, for his wise leadership and support. We especially thank and congratulate Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar al-Baker and his associates for bringing the world's best airline to Sarajevo."
Kajmakovic added, “Thanks to this scheduled air service to Doha, as one of the biggest hubs in the world, from now on our passengers with only one transfer may reach almost any destination in the world. This air service is especially important for our many citizens working in Qatar.”
In the last four months, Qatar Airways has bolstered its already robust operations in Eastern Europe by expanding its network to include Skopje, Prague and Kyiv. The airline has served key cities in the region such as Belgrade, Warsaw and Zagreb for many years, and sees the potential for continued growth in this rapidly developing market, the statement notes.
Qatar Airways will operate four times a week to Sarajevo with an Airbus A320 aircraft, which features 12 seats in Business Class and 132 seats in Economy. Passengers will also be able to enjoy the airline’s superior entertainment system.
Sarajevo, a sophisticated city, captivates tourists with its intriguing juxtaposition of past and present. Visitors can wander through Bascarsija, Sarajevo's bazaar built during the Ottoman period, or visit the Yellow Fortress, which offers a spectacular view of the city. In winter, Sarajevo's mountain resorts Bjelasnica and Jahorina offer some of Europe’s best-value skiing.
Qatar Airways Cargo will commence belly service to Sarajevo, supporting local trade growth in the export of agricultural and food products, furniture, garments, textiles and automotive parts, as well as the import of consumer goods and electricals. Qatar Airways will be adding flights to many more destinations to its network in 2017 and 2018, including Canberra, Australia; Chiang Mai, Thailand; and Cardiff, UK; to name a few.
The Doha-Sarajevo flight schedule is as follows: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday - QR293 departing Doha at 7am and arriving in Sarajevo at 11am, and QR294 departing Sarajevo at 12noon and arriving in Doha at 7.20pm; and Sunday - QR293 departing Doha at 6.25am and arriving in Sarajevo at 10.25am, and QR294 departing Sarajevo at 11.25am and arriving in Doha at 6.45pm.