Qatar Airways has quietly updated their schedule to reflect their next A380 destination.
Qatar Airways will begin a daily A380 flight between Doha and Bangkok as of January 5, 2015.
Qatar Airways A380
The flight will operate with the following schedule:
QR836 Doha to Bangkok departing 1:55AM arriving 12:10PM
QR833 Bangkok to Doha departing 8:45PM arriving 11:55PM
As it stands, Qatar Airways operates the A380 on the following flight to London:
QR03 Doha to London departing 7:45AM arriving 12:25PM
QR04 London to Doha departing 2:15PM arriving 11:55PM
Then as of November 1, 2014, Qatar Airways will operate the A380 on the following flight to Paris:
QR39 Doha to Paris departing 7:55AM arriving 1:10PM
QR40 Paris to Doha departing 3:00PM arriving 11:25PM
Then as of December 1, 2014, Qatar Airways will operate a second daily A380 frequency to London, as follows:
QR01 Doha to London departing 12:50PM arriving 5:30PM
QR02 London to Doha departing 8:30PM arriving 6:15AM (+1 day)
I’m really surprised to see Qatar Airways choosing Doha to Bangkok as their next A380 route. Admittedly Bangkok is a large market, especially for Qatar Airways. They operate 4x daily Boeing 777-300ERs between those cities.
At the same time, Bangkok isn’t exactly the most high yield market in the world. This route not only represents an increase in capacity, but is also Qatar Airways’ only route to Asia which features a first class cabin.
Qatar Airways A380 first class cabin
This also represents a huge improvement in terms of the business class product. Qatar Airways has reverse herringbone business class seats on their A380s, similar to the ones found on the 787. Those same seats aren’t available on the 777-300ER.
Qatar Airways A380 business class cabin
My hope was that they’d launch A380 service to New York JFK next. It might not have the volume of traffic that Bangkok does, but it’s almost certainly higher yield.
Then again, Qatar Airways will be taking delivery of a total of 10 A380s, so that could be in the cards eventually… just probably not anytime in the next year. It is quite interesting that Qatar Airways isn’t deploying their A380s on any longhaul routes yet. All their A380 routes fall in the 3,000-3,300 mile range, which are a long stretch from the ultra longhauls that other airlines use the A380 on.
Qatar Airways A380 routes
As far as award availability goes, unfortunately there’s no first class award space on the new route. That seems to be a trend, whereby Qatar Airways blocks all A380 first class award space. However, business class award space on the A380 to Bangkok is quite good, so if you’d like to redeem miles for business class, this is a great option.
Qatar Airways A380 business class award availability
It’s nice to see Qatar Airways deploying the A380 on more routes, though I’m quite surprised to see that they’re not instead putting the A380 on more frequencies to London and Paris, and/or a route that generally fetches higher yields than Bangkok.