Qatar Airways flight QR1459,operated by an Airbus A320 aircraft, marked the first flight from Doha to Mogadishu and landed at Aden Adde International Airport on Monday, inaugurating the airline’s first gateway to Somalia.
On board the inaugural flight to Mogadishu was Somali ambassador to Qatar Abdul Razak Farah Ali as well as Qatar Airways senior vice-president (Middle East, Africa and Pakistan) Ehab Amin.
Dignitaries mark the occasion
VIPs present to greet the flight included Qatar's ambassador to Somalia, Hassan bin Hamza Hashem; Somalia's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Ahmed Issa Awad; Somalia's Minister of Air Transport and Aviation, Mohamed Abdullahi Salad; and a large number of other high-ranking Somali government officials.
The award-winning airline will operate the new service as a tagged flight to its existing operations to Djibouti. The three weekly flights will stop over in Djibouti before commencing the final leg of the journey to Doha, the airline has said in a statement.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive HE Akbar al-Baker said, “This is an exciting time for both Qatar Airways and the people of Somalia, who are now able to seamlessly travel to key business and leisure destinations across Asia and Europe, with a connection time of just under two hours. We are delighted to launch our new services from Mogadishu, and look forward to welcoming all passengers on board, where they can experience the airline’s award-winning product and service.”
The new route will be operated by an Airbus A320, with 12 Business Class seats and 132 Economy Class seats, with a flight time from Doha of nearly eight hours.
Flights from Mogadishu will land in Doha at midnight, "offering seamless connectivity to key markets in China and Europe", all of which are scheduled for early morning departures.
Qatar Airways operates to more than 160 business and leisure destinations on board a modern fleet of more than 250 aircraft.
Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by international air transport rating organisation Skytrax. It also won awards for the ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’ and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class experience, Qsuite.
Qatar Airways is the only airline to have been awarded the coveted 'Skytrax Airline of the Year' title, which is recognised as the pinnacle of excellence in the airline industry, five times.
The flight schedule is as follows (Sunday, Monday, Thursday):
* Doha-Djibouti: QR1459 departing Doha at 7.05am and arriving in Djibouti at 11.55am; and Djibouti-Mogadishu: QR1459 departing Djibouti at 12.55pm and arriving in Mogadishu at 2.55pm.
* Mogadishu-Djibouti: QR1460 departing Mogadishu at 3:55pm and arriving in Djibouti at 6.05pm; and Djibouti-Doha: QR1460 departing Djibouti at 7.05pm and arriving in Doha at12.05am (+1).