CHENGDU, China – Qatar Airways today announced the launch of scheduled flights to Chengdu, the airline’s sixth destination to China.

Flight QR884 arrived at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport to a water salute, following its non-stop journey from the airline’s main hub in Doha, Qatar.

The new three times weekly flights joins Qatar Airways’ five other Chinese gateways - Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Chongqing – for a total of 41 flights per week.

Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, said: “Qatar Airways saw an immense potential to operate in Chengdu, which is set to play a critical role in the next wave of economic development in Western China.

“It’s hardly a surprise, therefore, that nearly half of the world’s Fortune 500 companies have opened offices in the city, and that Chengdu is aiming to become China’s fastest growing aviation hub.

““The opening of Chengdu shows our commitment to a vibrant and flourishing economy in the country’s next key economic and transportation hub.

"We remember fondly in 2011 when we launched Chongqing, offering the first non-stop route from Western China to the Middle East. We are extremely honoured to have another opportunity to contribute to this thriving region yet again.”

“2013 has been a fantastic year for Qatar Airways and today we expand to eight new routes since this January. Over the next few years, we will increase our global footprint, providing greater travel options for business and leisure passengers, taking them to key business markets, holiday hotspots and underserved regions around the world.”

Main industries in Chengdu include, electronics and information; machinery, particularly automotive and aerospace parts; medicine; food and tobacco processing; metallurgy; and petroleum.

Chengdu becomes the 130th destination in the Qatar Airways global network. The route is operated with an Airbus A330 in a two-class configuration of up to 248 seats in economy and 36 in business class.

Flight schedules, between Chengdu and Doha, are as follows:

Doha – Chengdu: 3-times-a-week, (from September 3, 2013)
Flight: QR884, depart Doha at 0200 hrs, arrive Chengdu at 1430 hrs, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.                                                      

Chengdu– Doha: 3-times-a-week, (from September 3, 2013)
Flight: QR885  depart Chengdu at 0100 hrs, arrive Doha at 0350 hrs, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.