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Qatar Airways adds Dublin as profits rise

DOHA, Qatar: June 12, 2017. Despite continued uncertainty in Qatar following political and economic sanctions imposed by neighboring GCC countries, Qatar Airways has launched a daily B787 service to Dublin as scheduled.

Following the arrival of the inaugural flight with an A350 (pictured), the company's new service will provide 80 tonnes of bellyhold capacity a week to Ireland's pharma exporters with its QR Pharma operation that enables cool chain transfer for temperature-sensitive products via a fully automated hub in Doha.

The airline has also reported a 21.7 percent increase in net profit to QR1.97 billion for its fiscal year ending March 31, 2017 on a 10.4 percent increase in revenue to QR38.9 billion.

A350 arrives DublinCargo revenue rose 13.0 percent to reach QR6.4 billion during the period - 22 percent of total airline revenue.

Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker said the results reflected the company's business strategy that has seen it grow from a small regional airline into an aviation powerhouse.

"As we celebrate our 20th anniversary in the industry, I am proud to share our annual results with the world so that they can see how far we have come as an airline group and how our dedicated team of more than 43,000 employees have worked together to make Qatar Airways the huge success it is today."

Speaking to CNN on Monday, Al Baker called on ICAO to declare illegal moves by other Gulf carriers in banning Qatar Airways from flying to 18 destinations in the region: ""It is actually a travesty of civilized behaviour to close airline offices. Airlines offices are not political arms," he told CNN. "We were sealed as if it was a criminal organization," he added.

According to its annual report, the airline has a subsidiary in Saudia Arabia called Al Maha Aviation Company in a "pre-operating stage" with the goal of providing commercial air transportation, cargo and catering services.

In addition to Dublin, Qatar Airways said it still plans to launch services to 23 new destinations in the next year including San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro and Santiago, Chile.

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