Cape Town - If you're looking to escape to Thailand for 2017's festive season, then Qatar Airways may just be your preferred carrier, as the airline announced that it will offer flights to Thailand's stunning Chiang Mai from 7 December 2017.
The decision comes after the airline expands to meet increased demand for Thai destinations from holidaymakers, with Chiang Mai being the carrier's fourth destination route in Thailand.
The new route is an addition to existing services to the Thai capital Bangkok, and to the top holiday destinations of Phuket and Krabi.
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Chiang Mai, also known as ‘Rose of the North’, offers a calm vibe and lush settings and is a retreat from the bustle of Bangkok. Making an ideal getaway, it is nestled in a rainforest, boasts breathtaking temples, restaurants and natural scenery.
Qatar Airways will offer the "new four-times weekly seasonal service" between Doha and Chiang Mai (CNX) from December 2017 until May 2018.
For travellers interested in booking flights, check out the flight schedule:
- Doha – Chiang Mai (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday)
- Doha (DOH) to Chiang Mai (CNX): QR822 departs 20:05 arrives 06:00 (+1) (Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun)
- Chiang Mai (CNX) to Doha (DOH): QR823 departs 07:10 arrives 10:55 (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun)
Meeting demand for leisure destinations
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, says that the new flights to Chiang Mai reflect the demand from customers "for more high-quality leisure destinations".
“Our existing services to Phuket, Krabi and Bangkok are already incredibly popular, especially with customers from European countries such as the UK, France and Germany," he adds.
"We are delighted to announce yet another destination, offering our renowned five-star service between Doha and Chiang Mai for leisure travellers. It also demonstrates our commitment to expand our reach with ambitious new routes around the world, taking our passengers to where they want to fly," says Al Baker.
"Ambitious route launches"
Qatar Airways first started flying to Thailand in 1996 with a service to Bangkok, with flights then following to Phuket and Krabi.
"The airline currently offers five daily flights from Doha to Bangkok, as well as a double-daily service from Doha to Phuket and three flights a week from Doha to Krabi," says the airline, adding that later this year, Krabi will become a daily service.
"The start of this new seasonal service is the latest in a series of ambitious recent route launches announced by Qatar Airways, including Prague, Czech Republic; Kyiv, Ukraine and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina."
SEE: Qatar scraps visas for 80 countries, including SA
Qatar Airways also "has a host of exciting new destinations planned for the remainder of this year and 2018, including Canberra, Australia; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; San Francisco, US; and Santiago, Chile".
However, the launch of new routes is among many of the airline's recent achievements, that include being placed first in the world's Top 100 Airlines for 2017, as awarded by Skytrax.
In addition to being awarded "Airline of the Year" (for the fourth time), Qatar Airways also won "Best Airline in the Middle East", "World’s Best Business Class" and "World’s Best First Class Airline Lounge".
SEE: World Airline Awards: Qatar leads overall as Ethiopia and fastjet fly the #AfriTravel flag
Further to this, Qatar Airways is making strides in air travel and ensuring smooth travel - which South Africans are benefiting from.
Qatar Airways now offers Visa Checkout to South African travellers - an online checkout service that allows online transactions to be completed on any device with a few simple clicks - while Qatar has scrapped visa requirements for visitors from 80 countries, including SA.
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