Middle Eastern airline Qatar Airways has flown its first flight to Langkawi in Malaysia. The airline’s first flight was followed by a celebratory service to the archipelago with VIP members on board.
On Tuesday 15th October, the first-ever Qatar Airways flight landed in Langkawi International Airport from Doha. It was the first flight in a service that will now be operated four times a week.
The new service
Despite Langkawi being a new destination for the Middle Eastern airline, Qatar Airways is expecting there to be a large appetite from its customers. The service will fly four times a week for a period of just under two weeks. It will operate Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday on the following schedule:
- Doha (DOH) to Penang (PEN) QR 866 departs 02:25, arrives 15:00
Penang (PEN) to Langkawi (LGK) departs 16:25, arrives 17:05
- Langkawi (LGK) to Penang (PEN) QR 867 departs 19:00, arrives 19:40
Penang (PEN) to Doha (DOH) departs 21:00, arrives 23:45
On the 27th October, the schedule for the service will increase. Qatar Airways plans to add a Friday service from that date onwards. The schedule will be as follows:
- Doha (DOH) to Penang (PEN) QR 866 departs 02:10, arrives 14:20
Penang (PEN) to Langkawi (LGK) departs 15:30, arrives 16:20
- Langkawi (LGK) to Penang (PEN) QR 867 departs 18:40, arrives 19:40
Penang (PEN) to Doha (DOH) departs 20:35, arrives 23:25
Qatar Airways’ Boeing 787 Dreamliner will operate the flight and seats will be available to purchase in Economy or Business class.
Celebration after celebration
However, launching a new route was just not enough for Qatar Airways. The following day Qatar Airways flew the 3,439 miles again to celebrate.
This service landed on 16th October with a plethora of dignitaries including Qatar Airways Group CEO, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, international media and other unnamed VIPs. The party were greeted with a celebratory ceremony at Langkawi International Airport complete with a water salute.
The welcoming party included a host of Langkawi’s own VIPs, including the Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Malaysia, Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of Malaysia in Qatar and Qatar Airways Senior Vice President Asia Pacific.
In a press release from Qatar Airways, CEO of the group Mr Akbar Al Baker said:
“I am thrilled to have been on today’s special flight to Langkawi and to be here celebrating our arrival to this stunning archipelago. Langkawi marks the eighth new destination added to Qatar Airways’ rapidly expanding network in 2019. ”
Mr Akbar Al Baker added that the stunning natural beauty of Langkawi was the reason behind Qatar Airways’ decision to launch the new route. That and the fact that it’s becoming a more popular destination in South East Asia.
The move was also greeted with equal enthusiasm on the Langkawi side. Dato’ Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh, the Chief Operating Officer of Malaysia Airports said:
“I would like to welcome Qatar Airways to Langkawi International Airport, the first middle eastern airline to fly to this beautiful island. The inclusion of a new international airline to Langkawi will definitely spur our Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign by increasing the number of tourists into Langkawi.”
Huge network expansion
Langkawi is just one of the new destinations that Qatar Airways has ticked off the list this year.
In June it started flying to Portugal. Its maiden service went from Doha to Lisbon. As well as that, it began new operations to Malta, Morocco, The Philippines, Turkey and Somalia.
But it has even more plans for the future. At the end of the year, Qatar Airways hopes to operate another sevice to Botswana.
Following that, 2020 promises flights to even more exotic places. In September, it also released plans for a new service to Angola. The route will go between Doha and Luanda and is due to start in March 2020. A route between Doha and Osaka in Japan is also upcoming in the Qatar Airways flight schedule for next year.
Will you be flying with Qatar Airways to Langkawi? How do you feel about the airline’s route expansion? Let us know in the comments!