Qatar Airways, the national carrier of the State of Qatar, announced on its website that on May 15 it will be starting non-stop flights between Doha and Yerevan four times weekly.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker has said that passengers on the new direct service to and from Yerevan will benefit from easier access to the rest of the world via Qatar Airways’ global network.
Doha’s Hamad International Airport, the world’s newest air hub, opened for operation in 2014. From here Qatar Airways services more than 150 routes to six continents.
Interestingly, Qatar Airways currently has offices in all Middle East countries except Armenia and Israel. That should soon change in the case of Armenia.
The airline, founded in 1993 and flying since 1994, today operates a fleet of 175 aircraft.
In its statement, Qatar refers to Yerevan as, “The administrative, cultural and industrial centre of Armenia and offers visiting business and leisure passengers a rich and diverse history. With a city backdrop of the snow-capped Caucasus mountain range, Yerevan is one of the world's oldest continuously-inhabited cities and its diverse architecture and atmosphere is easily explored on foot.”
Ruben Grdzelyan, press secretary for Armenia’s General Department of Civil Aviation (GDCA), writes in his Facebook page that GDCA Chief Artyom Movsesyan has high praise for the preparedness of Qatar Airways’ professional team and its friendly attitude. “I am pleased that there was a successful outcome of our two years of negotiations,” writes Movsesyan.
Qatar Airways will use an Airbus 320 for the Doha-Yerevan-Doha flights. (Air travel time is approximately three hours one way)
Doha-Yerevan flights are scheduled for Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
(QR 285 departs DOH at 20:25; arrives EVN at 00:40+1). Yerevan-Doha flights are scheduled for Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. (QR 286 departs EVN at 03:25; arrives DOH at 05:30) - All times local.
Qatar Airways will become the tenth company to fly to Armenia from the Middle East. The others are Georgian Airways (Georgia), Atlasjet Airlines (Turkey), Middle East Airlines (Lebanon), Arkia Israeli Airlines (Israel), Iraqi Airways (Iraq), Mahan Air (Iran), Iran Aseman Airlines (Iran), FlyDubai (UAE), Air Arabia (UAE).
Etihad Airways, which started to fly between Abu Dhabi and Yerevan in 2014, dropped the route this past September.
Qatar, a country of 11,500 square kilometers on the shore surrounded by the waters of the Persian Gulf, has the third largest reserves of natural gas in the world. It ranks 21st in terms of oil and oil product exports. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Qatar ranks first in the world in terms of per capita GDP.
Armenia and Qatar forged diplomatic relations in 1997. The Armenian ambassador to the UAE represents Armenia in Qatar, and Qatar’s interests in Armenia are represented by the country’s ambassador to Iran.
Trade between Armenia and Qatar only amounted to US$800,000 in 2013-2014. In 2013, Armenia imported 329 tons of plastic and plastic-items ($500,000) from Qatar, and exported 67 tons ($263,000) of live animals.
In 2014, Armenia imported 198 tons of plastics ($272,000) and exported 150 tons ($498,000) of animals.
The below charts are based on Armenian National Statistical Service data.