(Bloomberg) -- Qatar Airways said it’s seen traffic jump by 31% in the first two months of the year as the Gulf carrier expands its network with more frequencies and new destinations such as Hamburg to benefit from resurging travel demand after the pandemic

Chief Commercial Officer Thierry Antinori announced the increased demand at a press conference in Berlin. The airline is increasing frequencies to 15 global destinations, including Berlin, where Qatar will operate 18 weekly flights, up from 14 now, he said.

Qatar Airways is leveraging its position as a connecting airline with its hub in Doha. Traffic flows are particularly strong from Europe to Asia, with markets like Thailand in high demand, Antinori said. 

The airline, which competes with Dubai-based Emirates and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad for transfer traffic, will add Hamburg to its destinations in Germany, giving it an additional access point into Europe’s largest economy. The airline already serves Frankfurt, Munich, Dusseldorf as well as Berlin, which arch-rival Emirates has so far been denied access to by the German government. 

Antinori said the airline has all of its Airbus SE A350s back in operation after taking some of the wide-body aircraft out for repairs to fix flaking paint. The issue led to a lengthy legal dispute between the airline and the manufacturer, which they eventually resolved. The Hamburg connection will be served with a Boeing Co. 787 jet, Antinori said. 

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