QATAR AIRWAYS, THE MIDDLE EAST CARRIER MAKING HUGE INROADS INTO THE U.S. MARKET DESPITE A GLOBAL PANDEMIC, LAUNCHED ITS SERVICE TO SEATTLE LAST WEEK, MORE THAN A MONTH AHEAD OF ITS SCHEDULED MARCH DEBUT.
The nonstop flight on Friday between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar’s capital, was a success.
The flights will be operated by one of the carrier’s Boeing 777 widebody jets, with 42 seats in its Qsuite business class and 312 seats in economy, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal. The airline began its four-times-weekly, 14-hour flights to Doha and wants to move to daily service this summer.
Seattle is Qatar’s seventh new destination since the onset of the pandemic and the second in the U.S. Seattle joined existing U.S. destinations including Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK), Philadelphia (PHL), San Francisco (SFO) and Washington, D.C. (IAD)).
“With San Francisco and Seattle as new U.S. destinations, we will provide global connectivity to the U.S. via 59 weekly flights to 11 destinations – which is more U.S. destinations than we operated pre-COVID-19,” Mark Drusch, the airline’s senior vice president of revenue management, told TravelPulse last month in a Q&A. “Plus, these flights connect onwards to hundreds of American cities through strategic partnerships with American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and JetBlue.”
“The U.S. market is and will continue to be an important strategic market for us,” -Drusch
The big selling point so far has been the Qsuite business class, where passengers get a separate, closed-door room. In fact, that portion of the plane is so big that passengers won’t be forced to wear a face mask because there is enough room for social distancing.
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