Qatar Extends Its Unofficial A350-1000 Tour of the US With a New Destination

Jul 22, 2018

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On Monday, the US will experience its first-ever Airbus A350-1000 flight thanks to Qatar flying a one-off flight using its newest aircraft type. If you’re still interested in making last-minute plans to make the flight, there’s currently 29 unassigned seats in Qsuite and the flight still has three business class award seats available.

But, if that’s too short notice, you’ll be happy to know that Qatar has extended its unofficial US A350-1000 tour with flights to Miami. We were clued into one of these flights this morning thanks to a tweet from Airlineroute:

Sure enough, Qatar has loaded the following flight into its schedule for July 29:

  • QR777 Doha (DOH) 8:00 Departure → 16:20 Miami (MIA) Arrival

However, there’s no flight for sale on the return leg from Miami to Doha on the A350-1000… or any other aircraft. The next day, Qatar resumes its service between the airports with its solid (but not as good as Qsuite) Airbus A350-900:

Business class on Qatar's A350-900.
Business class on Qatar’s A350-900. Photo by Zach Honig / The Points Guy.

When I dug into the situation a little more, I found that this isn’t the only time that Qatar is flying the A350-1000 to Miami. The airline has added a flight a few days earlier on July 26 from Miami to Doha on the A350-1000:

  • QR778 Miami (MIA) 19:55 departure => 16:50 Doha (DOH) arrival on July 27

Note: the middle seats in the Qsuite quad are blocked for couples and larger groups to reserve. These seats are still available and can be selected during booking.

And there’s currently one business class award available on this flight:

So, what would explain this strange flight scheduling? The most likely explanation is that Qatar is operating an A350-1000 charter flight from Doha to Miami on July 26 and a return charter flight on the A350-1000 from Miami to Doha on July 29.

Update: As David points out in the comments below, there’s a soccer match in Miami on July 28 between FC Bayern and Manchester City. Qatar just became a major sponsor of FC Bayern in March 2018. But, as ASR points out, the Bayern team will already be in the US for the tournament. So, this would likely be a charter for Qatari officials and fans.

But even if this is the reason that the A350-1000 is coming to Miami, we can be hopeful that Qatar is also using these flights to test how the brand new aircraft performs on these long-haul flights. After all, back when the airline took delivery of its first A350-1000 in February, Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker pledged that the US East Coast would see an A350-1000 flight scheduled “soon”. And, we’re still waiting.

Featured photo by Zach Honig / The Points Guy.

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