State-owned Qatar Airways (QA) announced plans to boost the number of its destinations to cover more than 220 by 2022 from the current 164.
The move is shutting up mutterings in some quarters that the Qatari carrier is fumbling under Saudi Arabia-led siege of Qatar.
“There is no slowing down for us and together with our freighter destinations, we are planning to have 250 destinations by 2022,” Qatar Airways’ CEO Akbar al-Baker stated at a press conference in Doha on Monday.
The “unjust blockade” would not prevent the state-run airline from pushing ahead with its expansion plans, al-Baker said.
The national carrier would launch new destinations in a bid to offset the lost routes in the blockading countries, he added.
Commenting On the possibility of imposing fuel surcharge if oil prices extend hike, Baker said, Qatar Airways has “oil hedging but if the prices continue to rise and cross the hedging, we will impose a fuel surcharge.”
Since 5 June 2017, Qatar has been facing outflows of foreign customers’ deposits after four Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia cut their diplomatic and trade ties with the gas-rich state, accusing Qatar of financing terrorism. Doha forcefully denies the charges.