Qatar Airways has continued its expansion into Africa with the launch of services to its 12th new destination in 2014, the Eritrean capital, Asmara (ASM). The twice-weekly (Thursdays and Saturdays) route will become the 18th African non-stop destination from its Doha (DOH). Started on 4 December, the 1,720-kilometre sector will face no direct competition, and the airline is the first of the MEB3 to offer services to Asmara. “Qatar Airways is proud to be the first five-star airline to launch non-stop flights to Asmara and the commencement of our services here is another example of Qatar Airways’ commitment to opening up access to markets that we believe have great potential,” said airline’s CCO, Marwan Koleilat. This is the Eritrean capital’s second high-profile new route in 2014 following the introduction of services to Istanbul with Turkish Airlines in August.