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A Qatar aircraft taking off from Malaga Airport Salvador Salas
Qatar Airways becomes permanent fixture and offers all-year-round flights at Malaga Airport
Air travel

Qatar Airways becomes permanent fixture and offers all-year-round flights at Malaga Airport

It makes the Costa del Sol destination one of the 170 in the world that connects from the hub in Doha, and only the third in Spain with direct connections during both high and low seasons

Pilar Martínez

Malaga

Tuesday, 2 April 2024, 20:38

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Qatar Airways has become a permanent fixture at Malaga Airport. The carrier that operates the route between the Costa del Sol airport and Doha airport, which since 2018 was a high season connection, last Sunday 31 March started its permanent flights.

It makes the Malaga destination one of the 170 in the world that connects from the hub in Doha, and the third in Spain with direct connections during both high and low seasons, something that until now was only possible from Madrid and Barcelona.

"It has been gradual work. Normally you start with a seasonal flight to see how the local market reacts. Then you adapt the programme to the demand. At the beginning it was the movement of passengers from Doha to Malaga that was key, but then we have seen that the passenger from Malaga to our hub from where we connect to 170 destinations was very successful. It's an opportunity to make it grow by establishing Malaga within Qatar's global network," said Eric Odone, Qatar Airways' Vice President of European Sales said.

"When you have a permanent route it allows you to reach another type of traveller. Malaga and Andalucía have great potential and travellers have to come several times to get to know it," he added.

Flagship carrier

Qatar's flagship carrier will fly at least three times a week from Malaga Airport to Doha. In April, May and October flights will operate every Monday, Friday and Sunday. In June and September, the route will operate five times a week: Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. And in the busiest months, July and August, the flight from Malaga to Doha will be daily.

From October onwards, there will be at least three flights a week. It will be operated with a Boeing 787-800, with a business class in which seats convert into beds and which has been awarded as the best business class in the world.

Odone said "50% of passengers originate in Malaga. Doha, Bangkok, Manila, Shanghai, Dubai and Tokyo are the favourite destinations for Malaga passengers travelling on Qatar Airways," he added.

A total of 70% of passengers on this route travel for tourism and 30% for business, a percentage they hope to increase given Malaga's reputation in the technology world. "We want to take advantage of this technological development to also be a business route," Odone said.

The company expects to have the capacity to transport up to 3,556 passengers a week to and from the Costa del Sol in high season, and up to 1,524 a week from October and during the winter. "Malaga is a city with prestige as an urban destination and as a key point due to its proximity to destinations such as Marbella and Granada, with the essential visit to the Alhambra," Odone said.

The national airline of Qatar launched its connection to Malaga in June 2018 with a summer route that has grown in demand over the years. "Spain is a continually growing market for Qatar Airways, as evidenced by the 30% increase in bookings for summer 2024 compared to the previous year. This regular year-round route will also continue to support inbound tourism in the Costa del Sol region," Odone said.

The premiere of the permanent route from Malaga to Doha coincides with the start of the high season at Malaga Airport, where more than 50 airlines have scheduled 20 million seats to fly to and from the Costa del Sol until the end of October, 11% more than the record summer of 2023. Malaga will be connected to 136 cities around the world, six more than last high season.

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