The FINANCIAL — Qatar Airways celebrated the launch of its fourth gateway into Thailand with its inaugural service to Chiang Mai, as Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, hosted a press conference today at the Shangri-La Hotel in Chiang Mai.
Following the arrival of QR822 on 13 December, the airline’s first flight to Chiang Mai, H.E. Mr. Al Baker discussed Qatar Airways’ ambitious expansion of its global route network. He also highlighted the airline’s commitment to generating tourist traffic to Chiang Mai.
H.E. Mr. Al Baker, who hosted the press conference alongside the Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, in the presence of the Thai Ambassador to Qatar, His Excellency Mr. Soonthorn Chaiyindeepum, said: “We are very excited to have launched our direct non-stop service to Chiang Mai. As our award-winning airline continues to grow its global network, expanding our presence with a fourth gateway into Thailand has always been a priority for us. We have no doubt that Chiang Mai will prove a very popular destination for holiday-makers looking to explore this beautiful city with its stunning temples and mountain scenery. Putting the city on our global route map also connects local travellers from Chiang Mai to our extensive network of more than 150 destinations with award-winning Qatar Airways.”
His Excellency Mr. Soonthorn Chaiyindeepum, the Thai Ambassador to Qatar, who joined the press conference, said: “Everyone in Chiang Mai is delighted to welcome Qatar Airways to Thailand’s second largest city. This new route extends the deep bonds of friendship that already exist between our two countries. Nearly 3,400 Thai citizens have made Qatar their home, including 1,224 who work for Qatar Airways.
“Together, the citizens of our two counties will work in partnership to strengthen tourism in Thailand and Qatar through building stronger transport links. This new route between Doha and Chiang Mai is tangible proof of the strengthening of these ties. We look forward to deepening those links with the opening of Qatar Airways’ fifth Thai gateway when flights to U-Tapao near Pattaya commence in January next year. I would like to thank all of my colleagues in the diplomatic services of Qatar and Thailand as well as Qatar Airways for their tireless work to achieve this historic service.”
Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, said: “Throughout 2017 we have positioned Thailand as a ‘Preferred Destination’ to ensure Thailand is kept front and centre when tourists consider where next to travel. So to end the year with the launch of Qatar Airways’ new route between Doha and Chiang Mai is testimony to the success of our strategy to deepen our links with key markets.
“The start of Qatar Airways’ new four times a week service will significantly improve how we raise the profile of Thailand and Chiang Mai to long-haul overseas visitors in our highest source markets. As one of the top airlines in the world, we are delighted to welcome the start of this new service from Qatar Airways, which will enable us to warmly welcome even more tourists from the airline’s diverse route network, so they can experience Thailand’s unique hospitality and culture for themselves.”
Squadron Leader Monthanik Rakngam, General Manager of Chiang Mai International Airport, said: “We are honoured to welcome the world’s best airline, Qatar Airways, to operate services to and from Chiang Mai International Airport. The start of direct links between Chiang Mai and Doha is a major step forward for Chiang Mai and will help to further deepen relations between Thailand and Qatar. Qatar Airways’ modern fleet of more than 200 aircraft and extensive global network will also enhance connections for business and leisure travellers alike increasing Chiang Mai International Airport’s reputation as a major hub airport.”
As Thailand’s second largest city, Chiang Mai is famous for its relaxed lifestyle. The city is a highly-popular tourist destination, with visitors drawn to its hundreds of ancient and beautiful temples, nearby rainforest reserves, stunning mountain scenery and peaceful country villages. But modern Chiang Mai is also home to many international businesses, which have relocated to take advantage of its excellent infrastructure, including direct international flight connections to all the major countries in the region, including flights with Qatar Airways’ codeshare partner, Bangkok Airways.
Qatar Airways will operate four times-weekly service to Chiang Mai with an Airbus A330-200 aircraft, which features 24 seats in Business Class and 236 seats in Economy Class. Passengers will be able to enjoy the airline’s superior entertainment system Oryx One, offering up to 4,000 entertainment options, according to Qatar Airways.
Qatar Airways, one of the fastest growing airlines in the history of aviation, will continue to expand its global network in 2018 by adding flights to Canberra, Australia; Penang, Malaysia and Cardiff, UK, to name just a few.
Now celebrating its 20th successful year of operations, Qatar Airways has one of the youngest and most modern fleets in the world, with more than 200 aircraft flying to business and leisure destinations across six continents.
The award-winning airline has received a number of accolades this year, including ‘Airline of the Year’ by the prestigious 2017 Skytrax World Airline Awards, which was held at the Paris Air Show. This is the fourth time that Qatar Airways has been given this global recognition as the world’s best airline. In addition to being voted ‘World’s Best Airline’ by travellers from around the world, Qatar’s national carrier also won a raft of other major awards at the ceremony, including ‘Best Airline in the Middle East,’ ‘World’s Best Business Class’ and ‘World’s Best First Class Airline Lounge.’
Doha – Chiang Mai Flight Schedule:
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday
Doha (DOH) to Chiang Mai (CNX) QR822 departs: 19:55 arrives: 06:00
Chiang Mai – Doha Flight Schedule:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday
Chiang Mai (CNX) to Doha (DOH) QR823 departs: 07:10 arrives: 10:55