Qatar Airways has suspended its flights from Doha to Skopje and Sarajevo until the start of the 2020/2021 winter season on October 25 as the airline, which has maintained operations throughout the height of the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, begins rebuilding its network. The Qatari carrier is instead offering one-stop connections to the capitals of Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina via Zagreb in cooperation with Croatia Airlines until the start of winter, according to Ex-Yu Aviation news portal.
As of October 25, Qatar Airways will maintain flights to Skopje and Sarajevo three and four times per week respectively. Both routes will continue to operate with the Airbus A320 aircraft. Within the region, Sofia and Bucharest are also suspended until late October.
Services to the airline’s two other remaining destinations in the former Yugoslavia – Zagreb and Belgrade – have been pushed back from June 1 to July 1 and have also been downsized. Operations to Zagreb will be maintained three times per week with the A320 jet, down from two daily last year, while services to Belgrade will initially run three times per week before increasing to four with the A321 aircraft, down from up to ten weekly operations last summer. The airline’s planned new seasonal service to Dubrovnik has been cancelled. “Having maintained flights to at least thirty destinations where possible during this crisis and to most continents, helping to take over one million people home, the airline has been in a unique position to closely monitor global passenger flows and booking trends to confidently begin planning the gradual reintroduction of additional flights and destinations to its network”, Qatar Airways said.
By the end of June, Qatar Airways aims to have eighty destinations in its schedule including 23 in Europe, four in the Americas, twenty in the Middle East and Africa and 33 in Asia-Pacific. The gradual expansion will focus initially on strengthening connections between the airline’s hub in Doha with the global hubs of its partner airlines around the world. By the end of June, within Europe, Qatar Airways will maintain flights to Athens, Budapest, Moscow, Istanbul, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Barcelona, Brussels, Paris, Copenhagen, Dublin, Edinburgh, Rome, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Manchester, Munich, Milan, Oslo, Berlin, Vienna and Zurich.
Meanwhile, a total of 23 planned new routes to the former Yugoslavia during the 2020 summer season have been cancelled so far.