Qatar Airways' first non-stop flight from Doha to Bodrum landed at Milas-Bodrum Airport on Tuesday, marking the airline's sixth gateway in Turkey and third new Turkish route in just nine months.
Qatar Airways flight QR 317, operated by an Airbus A320, departed Hamad International Airport (HIA) at 7.15am and arrived at Milas-Bodrum Airport at 11.55am, where it was welcomed by a traditional water cannon salute.
The airline said in a statement that it would further expand its services to Turkey with the launch of seasonal flights to Antalya on Wednesday, just one day after the launch of direct flights to Bodrum.
Officials and dignitaries marking the new flight.
Bodrum is set on the Bodrum Peninsula, which stretches from Turkey's southwest coast to the Aegean Sea.
The picturesque resort city is famous for its many beaches, boutique hotels and seafood restaurants.
Visitors can cruise around the peninsula, spot celebrities in stunning resorts or relax on beaches in nearby Gumbet.
Sights in Bodrum not to miss include the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus and ancient theatre, the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archeaology, Kara Ada and Bodrum Castle.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar al-Baker said, “The inaugural flight to Bodrum, our third new Turkish route in just nine months, demonstrates our commitment to Turkey. We have seen very high demand for services to Turkey, as both business and leisure travellers show great interest in experiencing all this country has to offer.
“We are tremendously excited to be able to provide passengers with the opportunity to visit the beautiful resort city of Bodrum, just in time for the summer holiday season. Passengers from Bodrum are now able to travel seamlessly through our award-winning Doha hub, Hamad International Airport, to any destination in our rapidly expanding network.”
Qatar Airways’ twice-weekly flights to Milas-Bodrum Airport will be operated by an Airbus A320, featuring 12 seats in Business Class and 132 seats in Economy. The seasonal service will be operated every Tuesday and Friday until September 28.
The Doha-based carrier now operates flights to six destinations in Turkey, with separate services to Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen Airport (twice a day) and Istanbul Ataturk Airport (10 times a week), Adana Airport (three times a week), Hatay Airport (three times a week) and daily flights to Ankara.
The airline launched direct services to Adana in September 2017 and to Hatay in February this year.
Besides enjoying the service on board, passengers travelling to Bodrum will also have access to Oryx One, Qatar Airways’ in-flight entertainment system, offering the latest blockbuster movies, TV box sets, music, games and more.
Qatar Airways connects Turkey to more than 150 destinations via HIA and also offers seamless connecting flights from Fast East, Australia and the Middle East and beyond.
The national carrier of Qatar has a fleet of more than 200 aircraft flying to business and leisure destinations across six continents.
Earlier this year, the airline revealed a host of forthcoming global destinations, in line with its expedited expansion plans, including Tallinn, Estonia; Valletta, Malta; Cebu and Davao, the Philippines; Langkawi, Malaysia; Da Nang, Vietnam and Málaga, Spain.
The flight schedule is as follows (until September 28): QR 317 departing Doha at 7.15am and arriving in Bodrum at 11.55am (Tuesday and Friday); and QR 318 departing Bodrum at 12.55pm and arriving in Doha at 5.20pm (Tuesday and Friday).