In an aggressive push into the North American market, Qatar Airways have announced daily service to three new destinations: Los Angeles, Boston, and Atlanta in 2016 – along with an additional daily service to New York-JFK. This will bring Qatar’s total number of U.S destinations to ten. Given its desire to compete with other Gulf carriers and the delivery of new fuel efficient planes such as the Airbus A350-900, this is not a surprising move.
Compared to Emirates who currently operates to nine U.S destinations (Orlando comes online on September 1st as the tenth) and Etihad Airways who only operate to six U.S destinations, this will make Qatar Airways the second largest carrier into the U.S based on seat capacity. Emirates edge them out on this front based on frequency and the number of Airbus A380 aircraft it operates from Dubai.
Qatar Airways do have plans to run their A380 to New York-JFK, but they have not announced dates for commencement of service yet. When they do, this will mark their first and only U.S destination offering first class. Their new second daily service to New York-JFK will be operated with an Airbus A350 aircraft from 1 March 2016. The new service will depart Doha at 0115 for arrival into New York-JFK at 0730 (flight time 14 hours 15 minutes), and return from New York-JFK at 0930 for arrival into Doha at 0600 the next day (flight time 12 hours 30 minutes).
Qatar Airways offer the same business class seat on the Airbus A350 that is fitted to its flagship Airbus A380.
Beginning 1 January 2016, Los Angeles will be operated daily by a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft (which is fitted with Qatar’s previous generation business class seat). A Boeing 777 aircraft will also operate the new Atlanta service from 1 July 2016.
The ultra-longhaul Doha – Los Angeles service will depart Doha (DOH) at 0745, for a 1310 arrival into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). At 8,306 miles, this will be the longest non-stop flight in Qatar Airways’ network with a scheduled flight time of 16 hours 25 minutes. The return flight from LAX to Doha will leave at 1510, arriving into Doha at 1810 the next day. The scheduled flight time is 16 hours.
Doha – Boston will be operated with an Airbus A350-900 aircraft from 1 March 2016. It will depart Doha at 0820, for arrival into Boston at 1505 (flight time 13 hours 45 minutes). The return service will depart Boston at 2305 for an arrival into Doha at 1810 the next day (flight time 12 hours 5 minutes).
With a strong hub in Doha, the new flights serve to give better-connecting options for Qatar Airways and oneworld network travelers, along with more options for mileage redemption. Qatar Airways have a solid business product and an excellent lounge in Doha so this serves to be a logical extension of their rapidly expanding network.