LONDON – Qatar Airways (QR) has announced it will be bolstering its portfolio in the US with additional services as we get further into the Winter season.
The three destinations in question will be Miami (MIA), Chicago (ORD) as well as New York (JFK) following its announcement regarding San Francisco (SFO) set to launch on December 15 this year.
QR was also keen to note the relationship it has with the U.S, referring to the 220,000 passengers it repatriated into the country since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Al Baker Committed to the US
Commenting on this announcement was QR’s CEO H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker who reaffirmed his commitment to the American market.
“Our holiday schedule will help ensure customers traveling to see loved ones have more travel options with more global connections and flexibility to alter their bookings if their plans change.”
“Our deep commitment to strengthening our network in the incredibly important U.S. market has been underscored since the onset of the pandemic as we continually analyse where we can resume flights, add frequencies and launch new destinations.”
“We are pleased to further this commitment by resuming our flights to Miami this holiday season and adding more frequencies to other key U.S. markets like Chicago and New York.”
“Our growth is based on providing the best connections between the U.S. and the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Australia, and with these new holiday flights we are continuing to offer passengers the optimal connectivity and reliability they are looking for.”
Services to MIA will see an additional two weekly flights which will be effective from November 14, with ORD seeing another weekly flight added. JFK will witness another additional flight, making it a daily service by that period.
The MIA and ORD flights will be operated by the carrier’s Boeing 777-300ER, offering 42 seats in the QSuite Business Class and 312 in Economy. As for the JFK services, the Airbus A350-900 will be used, offering 36 seats in Business and 247 seats, again boasting the QSuite.
QR778 will depart Doha (DOH) at 1835L every Wednesday and Saturday, arriving into MIA at 1625L, with the QR724 departing ORD at 0130L every Saturday and Monday, which arrives at 2335L.
The JFK service departs at 0100L every Saturday and Tuesday, which then arrives at 2115L.
Such launch of new services now means that QR will operate a total of 61 flights per week into the United States, spanning 10 different destinations.
Thanks to recent partnership announcements with the likes of American Airlines (AA) and JetBlue (JB), indirect connections spans into the “hundreds” according to the airline.
A350 & B787 Key To Success
Interestingly, in the release, the airline noted that its fleet of 49 Airbus A350s and 30 Boeing 787s “are the ideal choice for the most strategically important long-haul routes, including those in the U.S”.
This comes following the news that the airline does not expect to see its A380s in operational use for another two years at least due to demand patterns caused by the pandemic. In an interview with Airways last month, the airline’s Senior VP for Western Region, Eric Odone said that at the moment it is “not commercially viable and environmentally justifiable”.
And with such moves by the airline, Odone also said that its future could be very dismal given the similarity between the QSuite and its First Class product aboard the A380.
With the QSuite allowing some level of social distancing onboard, it comes as no surprise that aircraft with the products onboard are going to be prioritised.
As mentioned in previous articles, QR is continuing to press ahead with continued growth as it aims to curb this virus in its own way. More destinations will no doubt be announced in the coming months, as airlines such as QR want to speed up the process for recovery, which has been cited for 2024.
It will be interesting to see how the airline will change its position onto a post-COVID perspective, once a vaccine has finally been distributed all around the world.
Featured Image: Qatar Airways Airbus A350. Photo Credit: Luca Flores