Qatar Airways Innaugurates New Abidjan Route

Qatar Airways has inaugurated its new service to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, this week. Flight QR1423 landed in Abidjan on Wednesday (16th June) for the first time. The route will operate three times a week using a Boeing 787-8 as a one-stop service from Accra, Ghana.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787
The Dreamliner received a warm welcome on Wednesday, making it Qatar’s 18th country in Africa and 25th destination. Photo: Qatar Airways

Touch down

Qatar Airways officially touched down in Abidjan on Wednesday morning, adding its 25th destination in Africa. The airline’s Boeing 787-8 landed at 09:23 AM local time, flying the short one-hour and five-minute hop from neighboring Accra.

This route was first announced in early May, as Qatar looks to expand its presence in the continent for both passenger and cargo traffic. The new route will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, offering travelers flexibility with their travel dates and the ability to fly to 130 destinations in Qatar’s network.

Qatar Airways Abidjan inaugural flight
Qatar now operates 100 weekly flights from its hub in Doha to Africa, with four new routes since the pandemic began. Photo: Qatar Airways

In a statement, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said,

“Launching flights to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire – our fourth new destination in Africa since the start of the pandemic, after having recently launched Abuja in Nigeria; Accra in Ghana; and Luanda in Angola is a significant step in our African growth…We thank the government of Côte d’Ivoire for their support to launch these flights, and we look forward to working closely with our partners here to grow this route and support the recovery of tourism and trade in this region.”

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Cargo focus

In addition to greater passenger connectivity, Qatar Airways has highlighted the cargo opportunity of the Abidjan route. As demand from Côte d’Ivoire rises due to the pandemic, Qatar plans to carry cargo from the country to high-demand destinations such as Paris, Beirut, and many cities in the Indian subcontinent.

For this purpose, the 15-tonne cargo capacity in each 787 will prove to be a huge boon for exporters. In addition to cargo space, the 787-8 can also carry 254 passengers, including 22 in business class and 232 in economy.

Emirates also flies a one-stop Dubai-Accra-Abidjan service. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Qatar Airways is going after Emirates will this latest route launch. The Dubai-based giant offers a similar one-stop service to Abidjan, albeit arriving at 13:50 in the afternoon. However, Emirates operates the route on a daily basis and using the larger Boeing 777-300ER.

Keeping busy

For Qatar Airways, new routes are a key part of its post-pandemic recovery. In total, the carrier has launched eight new routes since last year, four in Africa (Abuja, Accra, Luanda, and now, Abidjan), two in the US (San Francisco and Seattle), Brisbane, Australia, and Cebu, Philippines.

The carrier will operate flights to a massive 140 destinations this summer, a huge recovery from the lows of last spring. While load factors could be low, Qatar Airways is sure it can find success along with its bustling cargo business.

What do you think about Qatar Airways’ Africa expansion? Let us know in the comments!

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