Qatar Airways has announced a deepening of its codeshare with SriLankan Airlines, which will open up many more Qatar destinations to passengers flying with SriLankan. Qatar passengers will also be happy, as a new Maldives destination has been opened up too. Alongside this announcement, the airline has revealed a huge expansion of some existing routes and the addition of a couple of new ones too.
Qatar’s new codeshare
Qatar Airways has linked up with SriLankan Airlines to expand its existing codeshare dramatically. The agreement will open up numerous new destinations within the Qatar network to passengers of SriLankan Airlines.
SriLankan Airlines and Qatar Airways have been codesharing since 2016. However, this new agreement marks a significant expansion, adding 33 new Qatar Airways destinations to the itineraries of SriLankan Airlines’ passengers. In total, Qatar will operate now 53 destinations under SriLankan Airlines flight numbers.
The revised agreement will begin rolling out from December 23rd. Qatar says this will happen in a ‘phased’ rollout, adding more destinations in batches over time.
The first iteration will see SriLankan passengers able to book travel to an additional eight Qatar destinations. These include Athens, Greece; Belgrade, Serbia; Brussels, Belgium; Dublin, Ireland; Helsinki, Finland; Munich, Germany; Prague, Czech Republic and Thessaloniki, Greece. Travel is bookable from today onwards for flights on or after December 23rd.
Other destinations are yet to be announced, but Qatar says they will include routes into Europe, America and Africa. One additional destination that is mentioned is the Maldives, which will see an additional destination added for Qatar passengers connecting onto SriLankan flights. Already, passengers can connect to Colombo and Male, but with this new codeshare announcement, they can also head to the island of Gan in Addu Atoll, the southernmost point of the Maldives.
Qatar’s new destinations
Alongside the new codeshare, Qatar is adding a number of new flights of its own to its network for 2020. Overall, it is adding 66 weekly frequencies to 20 existing destinations in 2020, and says there will be many more announced over the coming months.
The destinations receiving added capacity include Dhaka, Bangladesh; Edinburgh, Scotland; and Windhoek, Namibia amongst others. The airline says that this is in response to “strong market demand and the recent deliveries of more fuel efficient aircraft.”
Along with the boost in capacity to existing destinations, Qatar has announced two brand new destinations for the 2020 season. The airline will be the first from the Gulf to fly to beautiful Santorini in Greece, with flights starting on the 20th May 2020. It will also begin flights to Dubrovnik in Croatia from the 20th April.
Qatar’s Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, commented on the new routes and capacity in a press release, saying,
“We are pleased to announce Santorini, Greece and Dubrovnik, Croatia will be joining our global network in 2020. We are committed to offering our passengers as many seamless one-stop connection choices as possible. With the addition of these new routes, our network will expand to 170 passenger destinations, further consolidating our position as one of the world’s most connected airlines.
“We also invite all passengers to enjoy the extra capacity and flexibility provided by the 66 additional weekly frequencies we are adding to 20 existing destinations in our network. We are dedicated to giving our customers more options and flexibility when planning their business and leisure trips. These new flights are being added in response to market demand and are testament to our hard working team at Qatar Airways who continue to set the benchmark in the industry from customer service to catering and in-flight entertainment.”
These announcements come hot on the heels of the airline’s first flight to Gaborone in Botswana, which were the 9th new destination launched by the airline in 2019. With several new services already slated for 2020, it looks like Qatar is going for even more new routes in the coming year.