The first Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Langkawi, Malaysia, touched down at Langkawi International Airport on Tuesday.
To celebrate the launch of the popular new destination, an extra special flight was operated from Doha to Langkawi Wednesday with a number of VIPs, members of the international media and Qatar Airways Group chief executive HE Akbar al-Baker were on board.
The special flight was greeted by a VIP celebratory ceremony at Langkawi International Airport, which was attended by Qatar's ambassador to Malaysia, Fahad Mohamed Kafoud; charge d'affaires at Malaysia's embassy in Qatar, Mohamad Shahir Sabarudin; chief operating officer of Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh; chief executive officer of Langkawi Development Authority, Dr Hezri Adnan; and Qatar Airways senior vice-president-Asia Pacific, Marwan Koleilat, as well as senior airport officials.
HE al-Baker said, “I am thrilled to have been on the special flight to Langkawi and to be here celebrating our arrival at this stunning archipelago. Langkawi marks the eighth new destination added to Qatar Airways’ rapidly expanding network in 2019. With its forested hills, stunning white-sand beaches and glimmering turquoise waters, Langkawi is fast becoming one of Southeast Asia’s most sought-after destinations and the reason why we knew we had to launch our flights here.
A traditional water cannon salute
"Beginning with a four-times-a-week service that will grow to five-times-a-week from October 27, we look forward to welcoming business and leisure travellers alike on board so that they may experience the ‘Jewel of Kedah’.”
The chief operating officer of Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad added, “I would like to welcome Qatar Airways to Langkawi International Airport, the first Middle Eastern airline to fly to this beautiful island. The inclusion of a new international airline to Langkawi will definitely spur our Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign by increasing the number of tourists into Langkawi.”
The new service to Langkawi will be operated with the airline’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, featuring 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy, with spacious cabins and specially-designed interiors, Qatar Airways has said in a statement.
Besides enjoying the award-winning in-flight service on board, passengers travelling to Langkawi will have access to Oryx One, Qatar Airways’ in-flight entertainment system, offering the latest blockbuster movies, TV box sets, music, games and more, the statement notes. The national carrier of Qatar has launched a host of new destinations in 2019, including Lisbon, Portugal; Malta; Rabat, Morocco; Davao, the Philippines; Izmir, Turkey; and Mogadishu, Somalia; and will add Gaborone, Botswana, to its extensive network in December with Luanda, Angola; and Osaka, Japan, following in 2020.
A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘Airline of the Year’ for the fifth time at the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by international air transport rating organisation Skytrax. It was also honoured for having the ‘World’s Best Business Class’ and ‘Best Business Class Seat’ and named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’.
Qatar Airways currently operates a fleet of more than 250 aircraft via its hub, Hamad International Airport, to more than 160 destinations worldwide.
The Doha-Langkawi flight schedule is as follows:
* From October 15: service operates on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday
Doha to Penang - QR 866 departing at 2.25am and arriving at 3pm; and Penang to Langkawi - departing at 4.25pm and arriving at 5.05pm.
Langkawi to Penang - QR 867 departing at 7pm and arriving at 7.40pm; and Penang to Doha - departing at 9pm and arriving at 11.45pm.
* From October 27: service operates on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Doha to Penang - QR 866 departing at 2.10am and arriving at 2.20pm; and Penang to Langkawi - departing at 3.30pm and arriving at 4.20pm.
Langkawi to Penang - QR 867 departing at 6.40pm and arriving at 7.40pm; and Penang to Doha - departing at 8.35pm and arriving at 11.25pm.