Qatar Airways launched scheduled flights to Chengdu – its sixth gateway in Greater China – on 19 March 2013.
The Doha-based airline will operate three flights a week to Chengdu, which is the capital of Sichuan Province in Southwest China.
Qatar Airways already flies to Chongqing, a municipality located within Sichuan Province that is under direct control of the Central Government.
It is one of four such cities, the others being Bejing, Shanghai, and Tianjin.
The launch of the new route will bring the number of non stop Qatar Airways flights to Greater Chinese cities to 41 per week.
Qatar Airways has built up a solid operation in Greater China over the years. It currently operates 38 flights each week from its Doha hub to five cities in Greater China: Beijing, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Shanghai
It is considered to be among the top 10 cities for investment out of 280 across the country.
Chengdu is the country’s western centre of logistics, commerce, finance, science, and technology, as well as an increasingly important hub for transportation, communications, manufacturing, and agriculture.
Chengdu has a strong industrial base, including heavy manufacturing, aluminum smelting, and chemicals. Textiles are an important industry with cotton, wool milling, and traditional manufacturing of silk and satin among the key business sectors.
Important Centre for Tourism
Sichuan Province is also an increasingly important centre for tourism.
Its greater claim to fame, of course, is the giant panda.
In order to protect wild giant pandas, nature reserves have been established in and around Chengdu, including the Sichuan Wolong Giant Panda Nature Reserve, the largest of its kind in the world.
“Chengdu is another key city in a vibrant economy looking for more air capacity and we are delighted to announce our operations there from March next year,” says Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker.
“We are confident of buoyant business on the route, appealing to vital traffic flows linking South America, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East to an important gateway in China – in fact our sixth gateway of Chengdu.
“China is a market that is growing in stature and Qatar Airways will continue to tap into opportunities to expand our presence and provide more choice for our passengers travelling on business or leisure to or from China.”
Over the next few weeks and months, Qatar Airways will launch services to Gassim, Saudi Arabia. on 7 January 2013, Najaf, Iraq, on 23 January 23, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on 20 February, Chicago, Illinois, on 10 Aprilm and Salalah, Oman, on 22 May.