Qatar Airways has announced plans for a new A350 route to San Francisco this winter, with the Californian city becoming the carrier’s ninth US gateway.

Qatar Airways actually mooted plans for flights to San Francisco back in 2017, but will now operate four flights per week to the city from December 15, using an A350-900 configured for 247 seats in economy, and 36 Q Suites (business class).

The new route will join the carrier’s US flights to Boston, Chicago, Dallas Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, New York JFK, Philadelphia and Washington.

Qatar Airways said that by mid-December it will offer a total of 55 weekly services across the nine US destinations.

Flight QR737 will depart Doha at 0815 on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, arriving into San Francisco at 1255, with the return leg QR738 leaving the US city at 1455 and landing back into Qatar at 1515 the following day.

Commenting on the news Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker, said:

“We are thrilled to welcome San Francisco as our newest destination, and our ninth current gateway in the US. As we navigate the crisis, we have made it a priority to not only reinstate our existing destinations and be the airline travellers can rely on, but to also grow our network and increase connectivity with new and relevant destinations for our customers to enjoy.

“As the gateway to Silicon Valley and the vibrant tech economy, the San Francisco Bay Area is a globally important destination, both from a business and leisure perspective. Populated with many people wanting to visit friends, families or business partners overseas, Qatar Airways is perfectly positioned as the reliable airline partner to enable traffic in and out of the area.

“We are excited as we launch this new destination making it easier for our passengers to reunite with their loved ones, having taken more than 220,000 Americans home to the US via scheduled and chartered flights amidst the pandemic.”

Last week Qatar Airways outlined plans to operate flights to 124 destinations by the end of the year, as the carrier continues to rebuild its network following the onset of Covid-19.

Qatar Airways plans to fly to 124 destinations by end of 2020