Qatar Airways today announced its Air Canada’s inaugural flight from Toronto to Doha today, establishing Hamad International Airport as the only airport in the Middle East to be operated with a scheduled service by a North American carrier. The flight was welcomed with a water cannon salute at Hamad International Airport and a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Her Excellency Ambassador Stefanie McCollum, Ambassador of Canada to Qatar along with Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker and Hamad International Airport Chief Operating Officer Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer.
Today’s inaugural flight marks the first-ever Air Canada flight to Doha and signifies the further strengthening of relations between Canada and the State of Qatar. Qatar Airways and Air Canada recently signed a codeshare agreement applicable for travel between Doha and Toronto. The agreement will enable both airline’s passengers to enjoy seamless, one stop connections to and from Toronto via the Best Airport in the Middle East, Hamad International Airport and onwards to more than 75 destinations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Air Canada Flight to Doha
Air Canada President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Calin Rovinescu, said: "I am delighted to strengthen our relationship with Qatar Airways, one of the world’s best airlines, which will allow Air Canada to better respond to shifting demand trends. As Air Canada rebuilds its global network, we are strategically developing new routes and pivoting towards markets that cater to Canada’s growing multicultural population. As more of our customers resume international travel next year, this enhanced agreement will allow Canadians more convenient options to visit family and friends, as well as open-up exciting new destinations. I am especially grateful to my good friend, H.E. Akbar Al Baker, for the warm welcome he has extended Air Canada in Doha.”
Hamad International Airport benefits from its strategic location, as 80% of the world’s population is within a six-hour flight of HIA, which offers more convenient connection options for global travellers. With its multi-dimensional lifestyle offerings in retails, hospitality, and culture alongside its passenger-empowering technologies, HIA is the preferred gateway to the world for global travellers.
Qatar Airways began flying to Canada in June 2011 with three weekly flights to Montreal that expanded to four weekly in December 2018. The airline has worked closely with the Government of Canada and its embassies around the world throughout the pandemic, temporarily operating three weekly services to Toronto in addition to charter flights to Vancouver to help bring more than 40,000 passengers home to Canada.
Qatar Airways’ strategic investment in a variety of fuel-efficient, twin-engine aircraft, including the largest fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft, has enabled it to continue flying throughout this crisis and perfectly positions it to lead the sustainable recovery of international travel. The airline recently took delivery of three new state-of-the-art Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, increasing its total A350 fleet to 52 with an average age of just 2.6 years. Due to COVID-19’s impact on travel demand, the airline has grounded its fleet of Airbus A380s as it is not environmentally justifiable to operate such a large, four-engine aircraft in the current market. Qatar Airways has also recently launched a new programme that enables passengers to voluntarily offset the carbon emissions associated with their journey at the point of booking.