Qatar Airways Group chief executive HE Akbar al-Baker has highlighted the award-winning airline’s robust expansion plans as well as its commitment to bringing more visitors to Malaysia and connecting Langkawi to its extensive global network via Hamad International Airport (HIA) in Doha.
The observations came during a press conference hosted by HE al-Baker on Thursday to celebrate the launch of Qatar Airways’ inaugural flight to Langkawi.
The press conference, held at The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi, was attended by Qatar's ambassador to Malaysia, Fahad Mohamed Kafoud; charge d'affaires at Malaysia's embassy in Qatar, Mohamad Shahir Sabarudin; general manager, Airline Marketing of Malaysia Airports, Mohamed Sallauddin Mat Sah; and the chief executive officer of Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), Dr Hezri Bin Adnan.
HE al-Baker said, “We are very pleased to launch our new direct service to Langkawi, our third gateway into Malaysia.
"Langkawi is both an important tourist destination and a growing conference and exhibition centre, which is becoming increasingly popular with international visitors.
This new gateway will offer our Malaysian passengers even more convenience and enhanced connectivity to an extensive choice of destinations on our global route network.
"We invite all our global passengers to experience the ‘Jewel of Kedah’, and look forward to welcoming you all on board.”
The general manager, Airline Marketing of Malaysia Airports, noted: “We take immense pleasure in welcoming Qatar Airways, who has been our airline partner at Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the past 18 years, to Langkawi International Airport (LGK).Early last year, Qatar Airways began flying direct to Penang International Airport from Doha.
This new flight to LGK, which is an extended route via Penang, will definitely be a great addition to the international airlines operating at LGK.
"Being the first Middle Eastern carrier to operate at LGK, this long-haul flight will expand the tourism opportunities in Malaysia, particularly in Langkawi, the 'Jewel of Kedah'.We look forward to creating many more memorable moments with Qatar Airways.”
The chief executive officer of LADA added, “We are thrilled to welcome Qatar Airways’ direct flights to Langkawi, which will surely become a game changer to position Langkawi as one of the preferred tourist destinations in the world.
It will definitely mark Langkawi as an important air connectivity hub to more than 160 international destinations worldwide.
We look forward to offer an amazing, natural and luxurious experience for all visitors in Langkawi.”
Qatar Airways began direct services to Kuala Lumpur in 2001 and launched its Penang service in 2018.
The airline currently provides more than 25 flights per week to Malaysia.
In October 2001, Qatar Airways announced its codeshare agreement with Malaysian Airlines, and this was expanded in 2018.
Langkawi is fast becoming an internationally recognised tourist destination, seeing tremendous growth in its number of visitors, having grown almost 10% since 2013, according to a press statement by Qatar Airways.
The place holds the status of Unesco Global Geopark, one of only 64 in the world.
It is also a Duty-Free Zone, making it popular with shoppers, and provides various MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions) facilities.
As one of the world's leading international air cargo carriers, Qatar Airways Cargo already has a large presence in Malaysia, operating belly-hold flights to and from Kuala Lumpur that offer up to 300 tonnes per week with efficient connections to Europe, the Middle East and Africa via the carrier's state-of-the-art hub in Doha.
Langkawi will also join Qatar Airways’ air freight network, with the carrier’s cargo arm offering up to 40 tonnes per week to and from Langkawi via Penang each week.
The new service to Langkawi, is part of the airline’s strong expansion plans in Southeast Asia and marks Qatar Airways’ third destination in Malaysia after Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
Qatar Airways will initially start with four-times-a-week Langkawi tag services via Penang with an increase of up to five-times-a-week services from October 27 on itsBoeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, featuring 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy, with spacious cabins and specially-designed interiors.
Passengers travelling to Langkawi in Business Class can look forward to relaxing in one of the most comfortable, fully-lie flat beds as well as enjoy its five-star food and beverage service, which is served ‘dine-on-demand’, enabling passengers to order what they like, when they like.
Passengers can also take advantage of the airline’s award-winning in-flight entertainment system, Oryx One, offering up to 4,000 entertainment options.
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