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Doha / New Delhi, Dec 21:  Premium Gulf carrier Qatar Airways announced on Thursday the expansion of its services to India by adding Chennai and Ahmedabad from March-April next year to five Indian cities from where it operates and raising frequencies on some existing routes by almost 60 per cent.

"From our existing 30 frequencies each week, we are now operating 42 frequencies till January 31. This will go up to 49 from next summer," the airline CEO, Akbar al Baker, told reporters here.

He also announced plans to introduce a passenger service to Nagpur from the middle of 2007 and a twice-weekly freighter service around the same time.

Baker said the plans from Doha to Nagpur, where it was supposed to launch flights from this year, were delayed due to delay in supplies of aircraft.

The airline's decision to operate to new destinations and increase frequencies came a day after the Governments of India and Qatar reviewed and expanded the provisions of the bilateral air services agreement.

Complimenting the two governments for substantially enhancing flights between Qatar and India, he said the entitlements for his airlines had been more than doubled from 5,300 seats to 10,800 seats, reflecting the growing demand for air travel out of India.

During the temporary open sky policy offered by India between December 15 and January 31 next year, Qatar Airways would operate 42 flights each week, he said.

The new flights between Doha and Chennai and Ahmedabad would be launched from March-end or April, depending on supplies of new aircraft by the manufacturers. Airbus A-321s would be operating on these routes. 


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