Qatar Airways plans to serve New York Newark and Washington DC from next June. These will be the Doha-based carrier's first US routes. Washington DC will be served non-stop while New York will be served via the Swiss city of Geneva.
Qatar has secured the right to carry passengers both between Geneva and New York as well as from Doha (its home base) to Geneva and on from there to New York.
Although Qatar Airways hasn't officially announced the new services, advance schedules indicate that Qatar's four times a week Doha-New York flight will start on June 28.
It will be operated by an Airbus A330. Flights will operate every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday with QR83 leaving Doha at 1140 reaching New York at 2155. The return QR84 is set to depart New York at 2355 reaching Doha the following evening at 2215.
On the Geneva-New York sector, Qatar Airways will be competing with Swiss (which lands at JFK) and Continental (which also uses Newark). Qatar is expected to offer keen fares to compensate for the fact it doesn't fly daily and that it lacks brand identity in the fussy Swiss market.
Qatar's Geneva-New York timings call for an evening departure at 1855 to reach Newark at 2155. The return overnight flight departs at 2355 to arrive in Geneva at 1350.
The daily Doha-Washington route starts on June 24. It will be operated by larger A340-600s which have the capability of flying non-stop. Flight QR51 departs Doha at 1235 reaching Washington at 2010. Return flight QR52 leaves at 2255 arriving in Doha at 1900 the next day.
It means that Qatar will now be the second Gulf airline to serve New York (Emirates was the first) and the only one serving Washington DC.
It will also be the second carrier from that region to gain transatlantic traffic rights from mainland Europe, following in the footsteps of Emirates who began a daily Hamburg-New York JFK service last November.
For more information go to qatarairways.com.
Report by Alex McWhirter