Qatar to begin US flights this year
QATAR Airways will launch its own US service later this year, according to its CEO, but for the moment is taking its first steps across the Atlantic through codeshare services with partner Lufthansa.
“The transatlantic codeshare with Lufthansa marks the first step of Qatar Airways’ plans to operate dedicated flights to the US,” says CEO Akbar Al Baker. “Launching our own flights to the US has been on our books for sometime and will become reality during the course of the year.”
He said the US is a key market and no airline that truly intends to be a global player could afford to ignore it.
The airline intends to launch dedicated non-stop flights between Doha and the US east coast this year with its new state-of-the-art Airbus A340-600 aircraft.
As of June, the Doha-based carrier has applied its QR code on flights operated by the German carrier between Germany and four US points – Houston, New York JFK, Newark and Washington. Both airlines currently codeshare on flights between Doha and Frankfurt, a route both airlines operate.
Qatar Airways also applies its QR code on Lufthansa flights to Geneva from Frankfurt and Munich. Lufthansa puts its LH code to Qatar Airways’ flights between Doha and Munich.
Under the expanded codeshare agreement with Lufthansa, he said, “Passengers have a through check-in facility.
Their baggage will be checked in all the way to the US and they will be given boarding passes at the point of departure for their entire journey.