Qatar Airways has enhanced its presence in Southern Africa with the launch of a new linked service between Doha and Lusaka, Zambia and Harare, Zimbabwe. To mark this milestone, the new service was inaugurated by the airline’s state-of-the-art Airbus A350-900 featuring 36 seats in the award-winning Qsuite business class and 247 seats in economy.
Qatar Airways now operates to Lusaka’s Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN). The country’s largest city and commercial centre, Lusaka is the gateway to experiencing Zambia’s legendary tourist attractions the Victoria Falls, which it shares with Zimbabwe, as well as game reserves and a variety of wildlife.
Meanwhile, Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, which will be served via Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport (HRE), is also a destination with rich culture, World Heritage–listed archaeological sites, and diverse natural landscapes.
The airline is said to have demonstrated its “steadfast commitment to Africa” throughout the pandemic, having significantly grown its network by adding four routes to Accra, Abidjan, Abuja, Luanda and restarting services to Alexandria, Cairo and Khartoum, bringing its footprint to 27 destinations in 21 countries. Earlier this month, Qatar Airways also signed an interline agreement with RwandAir, giving customers greater access to the combined networks of both airlines.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker said: “We have ambitious plans for Africa which is one of the fastest-growing economic regions of the world, with rising consumer demand and an abundance of natural resources. We see enormous potential not just in outbound travel from Zimbabwe and Zambia, but also inbound traffic from India, the UK and the Americas.
“We look forward to strengthening trade and tourism links between Zimbabwe and Zambia, and destinations on the Qatar Airways network, as well as steadily growing these routes to support the recovery of tourism and trade in the region.”
Businesses and traders will also benefit from the airline’s cargo offering, allowing more than 30 tonnes of cargo capacity per week each way to support the two countries’ exports, such as vegetables and flowers, to destinations on the Qatar Airways network including London, Frankfurt, New York and multiple points in China. Imports will consist of pharmaceuticals, automotive and technology equipment.
In July, Qatar Airways was named Airline of the Year 2021 in the Airline Ratings awards. The airline also clinched the Best Middle East Airline, Best Catering and Best Business Class awards. This marks the third year in a row Qatar Airways has achieved the Best Business Class accolade, recognising its patented Qsuite product.