For Qatar AirwaysTHE Brazil and the whole Latin American market are the new markets which allow theexpansion of its global networkfollowing the growth in its passenger traffic linked to the Football World Cup organized in Qatar last year.
The Qatari airline reported record annual revenue of $21 billion in 2022, up 45% from the previous year, and net profit of $1.21 billion, thanks to the huge flow of passengers transported during the Football World Cup. “This is a harbinger of how we see 2023 and 2024“, declared to the agency Reuters Craig Thomas, vice president of sales for the Americas at Qatar Airways. According to him, Brazil and Latin America are key markets for the expansion of the Doha-based airline’s global network.
The World Cup was part of Qatar’s strategy to attract 6 million visitors a year by 2030, and the aim now is to capitalize on the legacy left by one of the world’s biggest sporting events. This includes promoting the improvement of infrastructure, such as hotels and restaurants, and encouraging travelers who stopover in Qatar to stay there for a few days, following the example of Dubai, a connecting hub which has become a real tourist destination.
Qatar Airways revealed this year that it could expand its destinations from 170 to more than 255, although this depends on further expansion of its fleet. The expansion plan includes Latin America, where it has reinstated flights to Buenos Aires via Sao Paulo, seeking to lure Argentines to the country where their national team won the World Cup and transport Brazilians to the capital Argentina, one of their most popular destinations.
Also, Qatar Airways will increase its Sao Paulo-Doha service from 14 to 18 flights per week, which will allow it to more easily connect its services in Asia and the Middle East to the largest metropolis in the southern hemisphere, via its base in Doha, whatever the departure time. “Our flights from Brazil are already operating at very high load factors, to the point where we have to turn away some customers because the flights are full“, says Craig Thomas. According to him, Qatar Airways’ expansion in South America will take place in 2024.