At ITB Berlin, where Qatar Airways is presenting a new stand concept, Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker announced it will be flying to 14 new destinations. Routes will include the world’s longest non-stop flight from Doha to Auckland, which will take around 17 ½ hours. Among the new destinations are five European cities: Pisa (from August), Sarajevo (from September), Helsinki (from October), Skopje (from November) and Nice (from spring 2017). Other new destinations include Casablanca, Marrakesh, Douala, Libreville, Lusaka, Chiang Mai, Krabi and the Seychelles. Nearly two years after it was opened, Hamad International Airport has already reached its maximum annual capacity of 30 million passengers. Construction of an additional terminal is due to begin this year, and this is scheduled for completion in 2021, said Al Baker. The airline’s CEO hopes to take charge of its first Airbus A320neo by the middle of the year. In contrast to Lufthansa, it has until now refused delivery of the plane due to persistent problems with the new Pratt & Whitney engine. If no solution is found in time then the airline will have to think about cancelling the order, Al Baker said.
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