VENTURES AFRICA – Qatar Airways launches a new thrice weekly route to Maputo, Mozambique, as the carrier positions itself to serve unconnected locations.
The launch sees Qatar Airways celebrate its tenth new route this year, as the company pushes on in a wave of African expansion – Maputo being the Middle Eastern airlines’ 19th African route location.
Explaining the demand for a flight route connecting Maputo, the carrier noted that Maputo is: “gateway to Mozambique’s rich natural resources and a source for strong business,” adding that: “Qatar Airways is the first and only airline from the Middle East flying to Mozambique.”
The inaugural flight QR584 arrived in Maputo on Wednesday, carrying a list of prestigious passengers including the Consul General of the Republic of Mozambique to the UAE His Excellency Cristiano dos Santos, (responsible for Qatar); and His Excellency Salem Abdullah Sultan Al-Jaber, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Qatar’s Embassy in South Africa who holds responsibility for Mozambique.
The flight was greeted by celebrations in Maputo, traditional dancers meeting the arriving guests followed by an 80-strong ceremony, with attendees including the Honourable Minister of Transportation and Communication for Mozambique Paulo Zucula; the Chief Executive Officer of Mozambique Airports Authority Manuel Veterano; and the Chief Executive Officer of Mozambique Civil Aviation Afonso Sande Cuinhane.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker commented on the potential that Mozambique offers when made globally accessible, saying: “With the discovery of large reserves of natural gas, Mozambique is today emerging to be one of the fastest growing economies in the region…With this in mind, Qatar Airways always looks to open up air travel markets which are underserved – and Mozambique is an example of this.”
Rashid Mordiffi, Qatar Airways Senior Manager Africa noted in a similar vein the strategic importance of the new route: “Launching these new flights to Maputo shows our confidence and commitment to this vibrant economy. Being an important port in Mozambique, Maputo is a vital economic supply corridor to neighbouring landlocked countries in Southern Africa and strategically well positioned.”
Flying passengers to Maputo on Qatar Airways’ signature long-haul Boeing 777 aircraft, featuring 335 seats – the carrier now also links Maputo to multiple European and Asian destinations through its network of connecting routes.