Qatar Airways to boost Amsterdam

30 Dec 2015 by Alex McWhirter

Next year Qatar Airways will offer Amsterdammers many more seats than it does at present.

According to Airline Route the Doha-based carrier will remove its two-class B787 (which currently operates to Amsterdam) in favour of its larger and high-density two-class B777-300ER.

The change takes effect from March 27.  It means that Qatar Airways will then be offering Amsterdammers 412 seats on its daily Doha flight as against 254 at present.

Qatar Airways B777-300s

What does it mean for passengers?

More airline seats invariably leads to keener pricing. And it must be noted that Qatar Airways has already been offering very attractive economy and business class fares in the Dutch market.

It must be noted that rival airline Emirates is also adding extra capacity in 2016 thanks to the Dutch government’s approval of a second daily A380 service (see news, December 19).

Although Emirates has not yet finalised exactly when its second daily A380 flight will start, reports in the Dutch media (quoting the airline’s CEO Sir Tim Clark) suggest it will be in June, if not sooner (see news, December 2015).

Qatar Airways high-density B777-300ERs are the carrier’s latest version. They are currently being delivered from Boeing’s Seattle plant.

The latest configuration sees these high-density aircraft being disposed with 412 seats comprising 24 in business and 388 in economy class. By comparison, its B787s have 22 business and 232 economy seats.

Controversially it means that economy class on these B777-300ERs adopts the tighter 10-across 3-4-3 layout instead of the more pleasing 9-across 3-3-3 configuration which is found on the carrier’s original B777-300ERs (see news, August 20).

Readers who have flown economy class claim that 10-across on the B777-300ER, although tight, is still slightly better than the 9-across 3-3-3 layout found on the B787.  Why? Because the former has a wider cabin.

But business class passengers lose out because the cabin is configured six-across 2-2-2 on the B777-300ER as against a spacious 1-2-1 layout on the B787.

As Qatar Airways acquires more high-density B777-300ERs they will be rostered for longer sectors.

Initially the aircraft was restricted to medium-length routes from Doha such as London Heathrow, Paris CDG and Bangkok.

But Airline Route reports that the high-density variant will appear on the Doha-New York JFK route between January 1 and February 29.  That is a really long-haul route with a flight time of 12 hours or more.

In addition (to the above-mentioned routes) on March 27 this 412-seat high density B777-300ER will be scheduled to operate between Doha and Amman, Jakarta (a popular route for Dutch travellers) and Manila.

Alex McWhirter

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