Qatar Airways’ flights between Doha and the central city of Da Nang will increase from four to seven per week in the second quarter of this year, according to the carrier.

The move is a good sign for the route launched just a year ago. It will also help boost tourism and investment between destinations in Vietnam’s central region, the Middle East, and 150 global destinations in Qatar Airways’ network.

The route uses Boeing 787-8 aircraft with 254 seats, including 22 in business class and 232 in economy.

In December 2018, the Da Nang - Doha air route was launched by Qatar Airways as the only direct flight from central Vietnam to Qatar and the Middle East. It operates four times a week, departing from Doha on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and departing from Da Nang on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The addition of Da Nang to Qatar Airways’ global network demonstrated the airline’s view of the Far East as a highly important market, according to Qatar Airways’ Mr. Al Baker.

The world’s second-largest cargo carrier has a strong presence in Vietnam, with six weekly freighter services to Hanoi and seven to Ho Chi Minh City, as well as 28 weekly belly-hold flights to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and now Da Nang. Qatar Airways Cargo will transport more than 1,400 tonnes out of the country each week, with businesses in the country benefitting not only from direct cargo capacity to the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas but also regular services and reduced transit times. Major exports from Da Nang consist of garments, perishables, and electronics.

Qatar Airways began direct services to Ho Chi Minh City in 2007 and launched its Hanoi service in 2010. In October 2017, it announced an interline partnership with the Vietnam-based Vietjet Air, allowing Qatar Airways’ passengers to travel to and from points in Vietnam not served directly by Qatar Airways using a single reservation across both airlines’ networks. The launch of Da Nang flights marked the 14th direct route introduced by Qatar Airways in 2018.

Vietnam’s third-largest city, Da Nang is famous for its stunning coastline and sandy beaches and famous nearby world heritage sites such as My Son Sanctuary and Hoi An ancient town. It’s also a popular base for visiting the inland Ba Na Hills, the beautiful Hai Van Mountain Pass, with views over Da Nang Bay and Marble Mountains, and the Golden Bridge, which was opened in June 2018 and has gained a lot of public and social network attention.

Da Nang welcomed nearly 8.7 million visitors in 2019, including over 3.5 million foreigners, up 13.4 per cent and 22.5 per cent against 2018.