Shivram recently joined the Nepal team and is positive about the airline's future here. With Doha growing as a transit hub for travellers across the globe, the airline has been able to expand its Kathmandu flights to 21 a week, despite competition from other Middle Eastern airlines. The airline was ranked the third best in the world in the annual 2010 Skytrax passenger survey.
"Migrant labourers form part of our clientele but the airline has a good proportion of business and leisure travellers as well," says Shivram. This fiscal year, Qatar Airways serviced about 80,000 passengers, and a majority of them had two-way tickets.
Qatar Airways intends to contribute actively to Nepal Tourism Year 2011, and has set a target of 100,000 passengers. It has been working with Nepal Tourism Board to promote Nepal abroad and is also a sponsor for the Board's activities. Qatar, with other airlines, has been pushing for a 24-hour Tribhuvan International Airport. "There have been improvements in the airport, but a lot can be still done," says Shivram. He suggests upgrading the technology used in the airport and speeding up response.
In April, Qatar Airways celebrates its 100th destination, Aleppo. In a span of 13 years, its fleet has grown to 96 aircraft, up from just 4. Shivram says: "Qatar has been expanding internationally, and we continue to explore ways to grow in Nepal as well. We will soon fly four flights daily from Kathmandu."