Qatar Airways welcomed Air Canada’s inaugural flight from Toronto to Doha yesterday, establishing Hamad International Airport as the only airport in the Middle East to be operated with a scheduled service by a North American carrier.
The flight was welcomed with a water cannon salute at Hamad International Airport and a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Stefanie McCollum, Ambassador of Canada to Qatar along with Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker and Hamad International Airport chief operating officer Mohammed Al Meer.
Today’s inaugural flight marks the first ever Air Canada flight to Doha and signifies the further strengthening of relations between Canada and the State of Qatar. Qatar Airways and Air Canada recently signed a codeshare agreement applicable for travel between Doha and Toronto. The agreement will enable both airline’s passengers to enjoy seamless, one stop connections to and from Toronto via the Best Airport in the Middle East, Hamad International Airport and onwards to more than 75 destinations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
“It is wonderful to be here to witness, and to welcome, Air Canada’s inaugural flight to Doha, commented Stefanie McCollum, Ambassador of Canada to Qatar. “It is another tangible example of the growing commercial and social ties between our two countries. Qatar is an important partner for Canada, and the connectivity these flights provide is another positive evolution in our strong bilateral relations.”
Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, added: “I am extremely delighted with this strong relationship that Qatar Airways has with Air Canada under the pioneering leadership of my friend, Calin Rovinescu who has put Air Canada’s strong brand on the world aviation map. Air Canada, one of the most successful airlines in North America, will add huge value to Qatar Airways’ expanding network. Canada is a strategically important market for Qatar Airways, and this service will complement our existing four weekly service to Montreal and provide our travellers with additional options when planning travel to and from Canada. We look forward to harnessing our complementary strengths to increase choices for our thousands of passengers and enable smooth connectivity to a significant number of new destinations – particularly throughout Africa, Asia and the Middle East.”