Qatar Airways makes San Francisco its newest US destination
Qatar Airways will make San Francisco its newest destination.
Beginning Dec. 15, the carrier will offer four flights a week to its hub in Doha. Qatar Airways will fly the 8,087-mile route with Airbus A350-900 aircraft. The carrier’s A350-900s seat 283 passengers, including 36 Qsuite business-class seats and 247 in economy. Flight time is listed at 15 hours, 20 minutes on the Doha-bound leg and 15 hours, 40 minutes on the return.
Qatar Airways' move to add San Francisco (SFO) comes as demand for international travel has cratered during the coronavirus pandemic.
“As we navigate the crisis, we have made it a priority to not only reinstate our existing destinations and be the airline travelers can rely on, but to also grow our network and increase connectivity with new and relevant destinations for our customers to enjoy,” Akbar Al Baker, the carrier’s outspoken CEO, said in a statement announcing the service.
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San Francisco will become the ninth U.S. city currently served by Qatar Airways.
The others are Boston (BOS); Chicago O’Hare (ORD); Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW); Houston Bush Intercontinental (IAH); Los Angeles (LAX); New York-JFK; Philadelphia (PHL) and Washington Dulles (IAD).
Qatar Airways also has suspended service to two other U.S. destinations – Atlanta (ATL) and Miami (MIA). Miami service is scheduled to resume in December, according to the carrier's website. And a spokesperson for the carrier tells TPG that Qatar Airways also intends to reinstate flights to Atlanta, though no timeline has been given.
For now, Qatar Airways will be the second of the three big Gulf carriers to fly from San Francisco. Emirates also flies from SFO to its hub in Dubai. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad previously flew from San Francisco, but discontinued service there in 2017 as it ran into financial headwinds.
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Qatar Airways is a member of the Oneworld frequent-flyer alliance that also includes American and British Airways. That allows American and British Airways can earn and redeem miles for Qatar Airways San Francisco-Doha nonstop. Since the flight was just loaded into the system, it might take some time for award availability to show up online.