Capacity in the Middle East-Southeast Asia market has increased by nearly 50% over the past four years. Qatar Airways has expanded at easily the fastest rate, and has accounted for nearly half of the total capacity added.
Qatar now has more frequencies to Southeast Asia than Emirates, although Emirates is still significantly larger overall. Qatar has 16 destinations in Southeast Asia, giving it three more destinations than Emirates and the largest network among airlines from outside Asia.
Qatar has added three secondary destinations in Southeast Asia over the past three months, becoming the only airline from outside Asia to serve Chiang Mai and Penang.
On 7-Mar-2018 the airline unveiled plans to launch another four secondary destinations in Southeast Asia over the next year – Cebu, Davao, Da Nang and Langkawi, three of which currently do not have any links outside East Asia. Qatar is able to launch boutique destinations in Southeast Asia by relying on its extensive European network and by deploying smaller widebody aircraft (A330-200s or 787-8s) or, potentially in time, its future fleet of A321neo long range narrowbody aircraft.