Qatar Airways reaches 100 destinations with Sofia, Bucharest fights

Qatar's flagship airline flew to around 160 airports before the COVID-19 pandemic, and this figure dropped to 30 at one point amid the crisis.

al-monitor This picture taken on Sept. 27, 2019, shows an Airbus A350 of Qatar Airways after taking off from the Toulouse-Blagnac airport, near Toulouse. Photo by PASCAL PAVANI/AFP via Getty Images.

Oct 15, 2020

Qatar Airways is resuming flights to two eastern European cities on Friday. The Bucharest and Sofia routes will bring the Doha-based airline’s number of destinations to 100 after a drop to 30 earlier this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The airline will offer three weekly flights to Sofia, Bulgaria, starting Oct. 16. The flights will first stop in Bucharest in Romania, according to a press release.

The resumption of these services brings Qatar Airways’ number of destinations to 100. The Gulf carrier never stopped flying during the COVID-19 crisis, but it suspended several routes and was down to 30 destinations at one point. The airline’s chief executive is confident they will continue to near their pre-pandemic network of around 160 destinations.

“Our focus is not only on restarting destinations but also operating as many frequencies as possible to provide our passengers the flexibility to travel when they want,” said Akbar Al Baker.

Like other regional airlines, Qatar Airways has experienced financial hardship due to the reduction in international air travel. Qatar managed to add a brand-new flight to San Francisco last week, however. The airline is also increasing the number of flights to Singapore and several European cities this month, according to the press release.

The Arab country of Qatar is one of the most badly afflicted by the coronavirus in the region. People entering the Gulf kingdom must test negative for the virus and adhere to quarantine, but the specifications vary based on where they arrive from.