CHENGDU, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- Qatar Airways opened a direct air route on Tuesday between Qatar's capital of Doha and Chengdu City in southwest China, sources with the company said Wednesday.
The airline will operate three weekly round-trip flights with a flight duration of eight hours.
It is the second direct route Qatar Airways has launched to link west China with Doha. In 2011, the airline launched a route between Chongqing Municipality in southwest China and Doha.
The direct route is also the second to directly link Chengdu and the Middle East. United Arab Emirates-based Etihad Airways opened flights in 2011 between Abu Dhabi and Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province.
Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, said he believes Chengdu has huge market potential as the city will play an important role in the new round of economic development in China's western regions.
Chengdu is Qatar Airways's 130th destination. Direct routes to Asian countries account for more than 15 percent of the airline's air routes.