(Oops! Long gap since last post. I've been a bit buried recently, working on a new home for Travel-Lists and for this blog. Watch this space)
I had an interesting time at the APRO (Airline Public Relations Organisation) evening last night - sponsored by Qatar Airways (thank you, guys) who are, not just the *'Best Airline in the World', but are also expanding like crazy at the moment.
Last year they launched flights to 10 new destinations (Bangalore, Tokyo, Ankara, Copenhagen, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Phuket, Hanoi & Nice).
This year they have added five new routes (Bucharest, Budapest, Brussels, Stuttgart and Aleppo). The Aleppo service, which launched at the beginning of last month, is the significant one because it is their 100th destination.
Next month the Iranian city of Shiraz gets added to the network, along with Venice and Montreal. In July it's Kolkata (Calcutta), in September it's Sofia, in October, Oslo and in November Entebbe, Baku (Azerbaijan) & Tbilisi (Georgia).
Meanwhile they have been increasing frequencies on their existing routes and expanding their fleet, currently 97+ aircraft... not one of which is older than 4 years (and remember they started 14 years ago with four aircraft).
The plan is, that by 2013 they'll have a fleet of 120+ aircraft serving a network to 120+ destination.
Talk about 'busy, busy, busy'!
* Qatar Airways are self-evidently the "Best Airline in the World" and my saying so has nothing to do with the glorious model of a Qatar Airways A340-600 which was in my goodie bag last night. I remain a totally impartial and incorruptible travel journalist ;) and will continue to declare Qatar Airways the "Best Airline in the World"..... unless another airline (cough) does better. (Did you see what I did there?)