Due to passenger demands, the Gulf airline decided to move up the date for its second daily Airbus A380 service from its hub located in Hamad International Airport (DOH) to London Heathrow Airport (LHR).
The second double decker is now scheduled to begin service on July 1 instead of the previously planned July 16, 2015. This aircraft will compliment its schedule of 38 flights a week between the two destinations.
The new flight will have good connections at both DOH and LHR upon arrival. At Doha, transiting passengers will have access to flights to Asia, Australia and the Middle East. London passengers can use oneworld partner British Airways to connect to evening flights within the UK or around Europe.
Qatar Airways configured the Airbus A380 with 517 seats across three classes – First, Business and Economy. Refer to the following infographic for more information on the aircraft:
Selected passengers would have access to the following lounges:
- LHR – Qatar Airways Premium Lounge
- DOH – Doha Al Mourjan Lounge or Al Safwa Lounge (refer to our coverage of the latter lounge scheduled to be opened at the end of April 2015)
With the additional A380 on this route, Qatar Airways is increasing capacity by 16% in total passengers and 9% for premium passengers.
Richard Oliver, the carrier’s UK and Ireland country manager, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer a second A380 service from London Heathrow to Doha in response to an increase in demand from our passengers.
“Offering two convenient departure times from London Heathrow on the A380 will increase both choice and convenience.”
From the Middle East region, there are also 4 and 11 daily non-stop flights from Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) and Dubai International Airport (DXB) respectively.
Etihad Airways (EY) operates 75% of the flights from its hub at AUH while British Airways (BA) operates one lone flight there.
Emirates in partnership with Qantas Airways operates 6 out of the 11 dailies. UK carriers Virgin Atlantic (VS) and BA operates 2 and 1 flight each with the remaining slots going to Royal Brunei Airlines (BI).
With up to 21 flights daily, the London to Gulf region has one of the highest capacity of seats around the world. Only 4 out of 21 flights are operated by UK based airlines which put them in a disadvantage to attract passengers to that region (note that BA benefits with codesharing on QR’s flights from DOH). Additionally, they are more likely to attract those who want to fly non-stop from LHR or London Gatwick International Airport (LGW) to destinations in Asia and Africa.
Qatar Airways’ decision to move up its second Airbus A380 service signals a continued growth strategy employed by the Middle East Big 3. The new flight has attractive time slots and the aircraft offers a great environment in all classes. We end with a video by introducing the A380.