MIAMI — Qatar Airways made the official announcement this morning of nonstop service between Miami and Doha, Qatar. The four times per week flights operating Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturday, and Sunday will begin June 10, 2014. Flight times of QR777 appropriately named due to the 777-200LR aircraft utilized from Doha to Miami will be 15:40 and 14:20 on QR888 on the return. The aircraft will operate in a 2-class configuration: 42 seats in business and 217 seats in economy.
The route will provide 536 new jobs and an annual economic impact of $78.3 million to Miami-Dade County. “Miami International Airport serves nearly 40 million passengers a year, with approximately 20 million traveling internationally,” said Miami-Dade Aviation Department Aviation Director Emilio González. “The addition to Qatar Airways’ destinations in the U.S. will help establish Miami as a significant route to the Middle East and beyond.
“The U.S. is a growing market for us and the addition of Miami as a destination and our membership in the oneworld Alliance opens up a multitude of better routes with the Middle East, East Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, and Western Australia to and from the east coast of the U.S.,” said Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker.
Qatar Airways and Miami International Airport, the second-busiest airport in the U.S for international passengers are set to announce on Monday four times a week non-stops between Doha, Qatar and Miami beginning June 1, 2014 using the airline’s Boeing 777-200LR. The destination will be the Qatar’s sixth in the U.S. following its recent inaugural to Chicago and the upcoming April 2014 launch to Philadelphia. The Doha service will be Miami’s first non-stop service to the Middle East since Israel’s El Al pulled out in 2008.
Miami is seen as a natural progression for Qatar due to the area’s affluent trade activity, gateway status to Latin America and the Carribbean, and perhaps most importantly for its connectivity into the American Airlines hub at MIA. Qatar, rated by Skytrax as “world’s best airline” in 2011 and 2012, is set to join the oneworld Alliance at the end of this month. The highly-regarded airline is also due to receive its first Airbus A380 very soon and will be the launch customer for the new Airbus A350 XWB sometime in 2014.
In an email to The Miami Herald, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said “Miami was a clear choice for us. It’s a large international travel market, both inbound and outbound, and Qatar Airways’ membership in oneworld gives people in the U.S. many more options for international travel.” Qatar’s Doha hub offers connecting opportunities in particular to Asia, the Middle East, and India.