Qatar Airways has announced its participation in ITB Berlin, the largest travel and trade event in the world, from March 7-9. The airline is planning to unveil a significant network announcement on the first day of the exhibition, which will highlight its achievements during the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 and its plans for the year ahead.
Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker expressed excitement about reuniting with leaders in the global travel industry and introducing the airline’s latest products and services.
During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Qatar Airways ceased its operations between Doha and Skopje, and it has not resumed them yet. The airline has stated that it will resume flights to the Macedonian capital once it becomes financially feasible. Despite the efforts of the Macedonian government and airport operator TAV to lure Qatar Airways back for over a year, the airline has not yet made any commitment.
The Macedonian Minister for Transport and Communications, Blagoj Bočvarski, has recently held talks with the Qatari Ambassador, where he emphasized the importance of renewing flights between Doha and Skopje. Bočvarski underlined the need to maintain business relations between the two countries, making it especially critical to restore the flights between the two cities.
TAV Macedonia, the airport operator, has also expressed its efforts to retrieve the lost connections, specifically to Doha and Dubai from Skopje Airport. The Skopje-Doha route, in particular, offered reliable transfer connections for the Macedonian diaspora in Australia and New Zealand, as well as travellers heading to Japan, China, India, and other exotic destinations in the East.
Before the pandemic hit, Qatar Airways transported nearly 30,000 passengers on its Skopje route in 2019, primarily consisting of transfers. The majority of these passengers originated or were headed to the Australian market (33%), followed by India (7%), Thailand (5%), and Singapore (4%). TAV Macedonia has managed to restore almost all destinations previously maintained from Macedonia’s two airports, except for Doha and Dubai from Skopje Airport, as the operators continue to work towards reinstating these connections.
The airline’s stand at the trade fair will showcase its new exhibition pavilion at Hall 2.2, stand 207, where visitors can experience the F1 Car Racing Simulator, a new standard of excitement for international travel and tourism guests. A press conference is scheduled for March 7 at 12pm.