Published on : Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Qatar Airways – the only Gulf carrier that never stopped flying to the U.S. during the crisis in an effort to take over 160,000 stranded people home – has continued to work closely with the U.S. government and airports as the airline rebuilds its U.S. network. The national carrier of the State of Qatar is thrilled to build on its commitment to the U.S. market with the resumption of flights to two additional U.S. gateways, Houston (IAH) and Philadelphia (PHL) along with expanding frequencies to daily to Los Angeles (LAX) from 12 August and double daily to New York (JFK) from 1 September. This news, which will add three weekly flights to Houston from 2 September and four weekly flights to Philadelphia from 15 September, will see the airline’s U.S. operations grow to eight gateways including Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth and Washington, D.C., strengthening its position as the leading international carrier operating services to and from the U.S.
Strong partnerships in place with American Airline and JetBlue, which currently empower Qatar Airways passengers to book onward travel with American Airline on more than 600 daily flights and with JetBlue on more than 70 daily flights, will amplify the reach of these flights even further. By mid-September 2020, travellers will gain access to 56 weekly flights in the airline’s U.S. network and will be able to book onward travel with American Airline to over 200 destinations on more than 850 daily flights, and with JetBlue to over 55 destinations on more than 150 daily flights.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Qatar Airways has remained committed to bringing people home safely since the onset of the pandemic, and our commitment to the U.S., a very important strategic market, has never wavered. We are proud of our repatriation efforts to-date, and we look forward to providing travellers access to even more flights to the U.S. with the resumption of flights to Houston and Philadelphia, two major cities. The addition of these flights brings us to eight U.S. destinations and maintains our position as the largest international carrier in the U.S., and we look forward to soon returning to all ten of our incredible U.S. gateways.”
Travellers can plan their travel to Qatar Airways’ eight U.S. destinations with peace of mind, as the carrier has extended its booking policies to offer passengers maximum flexibility and choice, ranging from unlimited date changes to the option of changing your destination as often as needed within 5,000 miles of the original destination. Fare difference fees will not apply for travel completed before 31 December 2020.
Over the past several months, Qatar Airways has led the industry by maintaining a global network that never fell below 30 destinations. In doing so, the airline collected unrivalled experience in carrying passengers safely and reliably and became uniquely positioned to effectively rebuild its network. The carrier has stringently implemented the most advanced safety and hygiene measures on board its aircraft and in Hamad International Airport – from introducing enhanced PPE suits for cabin crew, to becoming the first airline to require passengers to wear face shields in addition to face coverings.
Additionally, passengers flying Business Class on Qsuite, which has been awarded the Best Business Class Seat in the World, can enjoy full privacy, including sliding privacy partitions and fully closing doors. Passengers can also opt to use the ‘Do Not Disturb (DND)’ indicator in their private suite, if they wish to limit their interactions with the cabin crew. Qsuite continues to be available on flights to more than 30 destinations including London, Sydney, Singapore and Dallas-Fort Worth.
Qatar Airways operations are not dependent on any specific aircraft type. Due to COVID-19’s impact on travel demand, the airline has taken the decision to ground its fleet of Airbus A380s as it is not commercially or environmentally justifiable to operate such a large aircraft in the current market. The airline’s fleet of 49 Airbus A350 and 30 Boeing 787 are the ideal choice for the most strategically important long-haul routes to the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific regions. The airline’s internal benchmarks identified that the A380 emitted up to 95% more CO2 per block hour on certain routes to the U.S with the A350 saving around 20 tonnes of CO2 per block hour. Until passenger demand recovers to appropriate levels, Qatar Airways will continue to keep its A380 aircraft grounded, ensuring it only operates commercially and environmentally responsible aircraft.