Just this morning, Qatar Airways has announced it will continue with its rapid expansion, adding Atlanta, Boston and Los Angeles to its route map by 2016.
Once all three routes are added, Qatar will serve 10 destinations in the US, furthering its reach as it attempts to compete with both Emirates and Etihad’s expansion plans. What might be most exciting about the new routes is Qatar’s plan to utilize the Airbus A350, The airline’s newest aircraft that is currently not in service by any other airline across the world. The A350 will be added to the route to Boston, as well as Qatar’s second daily flight to New York.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker stated, “As Qatar Airways continues its global expansion, we are delighted to be offering even more gateways in the United States, connecting passengers from destinations across the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, Africa and Southeast Asia.”
The additional new routes will only further the debate between the three major middle eastern carriers, the so-called “ME3”, and the major airlines within the United States. Representatives from Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United Airlines all claim that the ME3 are heavily subsidized by their own governments, resulting in an unfair playing field and a violation of Open Skies Agreements.
While in the past Qatar has usually followed the lead of Emirates in its route selection, Qatar Airways will be the first Middle Eastern airline to serve Atlanta. Known for being a prominent Delta hub, the airline describes Atlanta as being “the business centre of the Southeast region of the United States.” The route will be operated by Qatar’s flagship Boeing 777 aircraft.
When asked about the three new routes His Excellency Baker went on further stating, “We look forward to offering a great travel experience to our U.S. passengers on the World’s Best Business Class across our network of more than 140 destinations, with a convenient one-stop transfer at the new state-of-the-art Hamad International Airport in Doha.”
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