Qatar Airways’ inaugural flight to Malaysia’s Penang touched down at Penang International Airport on Tuesday, February 6.
Flight QR 850, served by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, took off from Hamad International Airport in Doha at 02:30 and arrived in Penang at 14:30.
Aboard the inaugural service was a delegation led by chief commercial officer, Qatar Airways, Ehab Amin, along with the Malaysian Ambassador to the State of Qatar, Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin.
The VIP delegation was welcomed by Qatari Ambassador to Malaysia, HE Essa Bin Mohamed Al-Mannai; Chief Minister of Penang, HE Lim Guan Eng; managing director, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, Datuk Badlisham Bin Ghazali; and CEO, Penang Global Tourism, Ooi Chok Yan.
Chief executive, Qatar Airways Group, HE Akbar Al Baker commented on the occasion: “We are delighted to launch direct flights to Penang, a long-anticipated addition to our global route network. Our Kuala Lumpur service started in 2001, and it has since grown to a triple-daily direct non-stop service to and from Doha. We are tremendously pleased to now be able to offer our passengers another exciting destination to experience in this beautiful country.
“The addition of Penang to our global network comes as part of our continued expansion plans throughout Eastern Asia, as we have recently launched direct services to Thailand’s Chiang Mai and Pattaya, as well as adding additional services to Krabi, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi,” he added.
The arrival of the inaugural flight was followed by a press conference, during which Qatar Airways revealed that the Penang route will be boosted to a four-times-weekly frequency, effective July 1, 2018.
Until then, Qatar Airways will fly three times a week to Penang with its state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which features 22 seats in business class and 232 seats in economy class.
Malaysia Airports’ Ghazali enthused: “With the current triple-daily frequencies to Kuala Lumpur catering to the many passengers travelling to destinations in North America and Europe, we believe that the same demand for these destinations from Penang is growing rapidly.
“With this new route, Qatar Airways will be the first Middle Eastern carrier to offer a non-stop flight service from Doha to Penang. The long-haul flight to Penang will also bring a great expansion in tourism opportunities in Malaysia. We definitely look forward to creating many more memorable moments with Qatar Airways,” he concluded.