• Monday, June 24, 2024
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Qatar airways commences operations in Kano

Qatar airways commences operations in Kano

Qatar Airways has commenced operations in the commercial city of Kano, as part of a move described as geared towards strengthening the existing economic ties between Nigeria and the peninsular Arab country.

The launch marked the start of four new weekly flights from Kano, and Doha , the capital of Qatar, through Abuja. The flights are scheduled every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

The Kano operations started Wednesday with the landing of a Qatar Airways aircraft Boeing 787 Dreamliner at the new terminal of Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport to a water-cannon salute at 11:16 am Nigerian time.

The inaugural flight was piloted into the airport by the Qatari Captain, Mohammed Abdulla, and a Nigerian first officer, Adeola Olamide Ogunmola, from Gwagwalada.

Read also: FEC approves N3.5b airport facilities for Abuja, Lagos and Kano

Qatar Airways’ Vice President for Africa, Hendrik Du Preez, said the new route will connect to over 140 destinations across its network, apart from Kano to Doha.

“Kano has been a trade and travel hub for hundreds of years. Now by linking it to the world’s best airport, Hamid International Airport in Doha, we hope to grow traffic between these two important hubs,” Preez said.

“We anticipate particular demand to and from India and other markets. We also expect strong cargo demand. This new service, not only underpins our commitment to Nigeria, but it is also a clear indicator of recovery and expected growth.

“Qatar Airways has stayed steadfast in its commitment to Africa throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It has since increased frequencies and grown its network, considerably improving connectivity to and from the continent and providing passengers with more choice and convenience.”

Preez disclosed that in Nigeria, the airline offered three weekly flights to Abuja via Lagos in November 2020 which grew to four direct flights to Abuja in December 2021.

“In addition to the four weekly flights to Kano via Abuja, we will also start operating three weekly flights to Port Harcourt from Thursday March 3, 2022. This will bring the number of services it operates between Africa and Doha to 188 weekly flights, serving 28 destinations across the continent,” he said.

Speaking on the incentives, Preez said Qatar Airways will apply a “flexible booking policy” that offers unlimited changes to travel dates and destinations as well as fee-free refunds for all tickets issued for travel completed by May 31.

He said passengers flying to and from Kano will also benefit from Qatar Airways new baggage allowances, which provide for up to 46kg in Economy class split over two pieces, and 64kg, split over two pieces, in Business Class.

Speaking through a representative, Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said the new flights provide important travel and trade links between Nigeria and the world.

“As the largest economy in Africa, this enhanced global connectivity, through the new Qatar Airways service, will provide a vital network to move goods and people, as we recover from challenges of the pandemic and prioritise growth. Kano and Port Harcourt are both important to this recovery,” Sirika said.

“This new service also reinforces the close ties between Nigeria and Qatar, and it paves the way to explore new untapped opportunities.”

Nigeria’s Ambassador to Qatar, Amb. Yakubu Abdullahi Ahmed expressed joy that Qatar heeded to his request by expanding its airways to Kano,

“This will give me more opportunities of interaction and in carrying out my diplomatic assignment in Qatar,” he added.