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QA to begin cargo service to three N American cities from November

Qatar Airways’ cargo will begin scheduled dedicated freighter services to three North American destinations – Atlanta, Houston and Toronto in November. The new North American services will be operated with Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777 freighters and will fly from the airline’s hub in Doha via Luxembourg. Atlanta and Houston will be served with twice-weekly flights from November 2, while the Toronto services will begin five days later on November 7. In North America, Qatar Airways currently operates dedicated freighters only to Chicago. The carrier also flies daily non-stop passenger services to Houston, New York and Washington, together with thrice-weekly flights to Montreal, offering sufficient cargo space. Meanwhile, Qatar Airways’ passenger services to Jeddah will be supplemented with a weekly cargo flight, from October 30. In addition, extra cargo flights will operate to Chicago, Colombo, Bahrain, Dammam, Hong Kong and Tehran from October 30. Over the past few months, Qatar Airways Cargo has significantly ramped up its expansion with increased frequencies and the order for a further three Boeing 777 freighters. Recent frequency increases have been implemented to Kuwait, Bengaluru, Kozhikode and Hanoi. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Officer Akbar al-Baker said the airline’s dedicated cargo network was an extension of the airline’s strategy to develop its global air transport business. “With the recent completion of our 35% stake in Cargolux, Europe’s largest cargo airline, we have increased our focus on freighter operations, which ties seamlessly into the airline’s strategy to have as many connecting points across the globe from our Doha hub,” said al-Baker. “We have identified tremendous route expansion opportunities around the world, including North America where the freighter market is huge.” Currently, Qatar Airways Cargo has a fleet of three Airbus A300-600s and two Boeing 777 freighters. The Boeing 777F aircraft has the longest range of any twin-engined freighter, and is based on the Boeing 777-200 Long Range aircraft, of which Qatar Airways has nine in its passenger fleet operating the airline’s ultra long-haul passenger routes to Houston, Melbourne, Montreal, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires. Flights to Baku and Tbilisi, the capitals of Azerbaijan and Georgia respectively, will be launched on February 1 next year. http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=462975&version=1&template_id=36&parent_id=16