Qatar Airways is the launch customer for the Airbus A350. They announced a couple of months ago that Frankfurt would be their first A350 destination sometime in January, though hadn’t yet announced dates.
Well, via airlineroute.net, Qatar Airways has finally published their A350 schedule.
QR67/68 between Doha and Frankfurt will first be operated by the A350, with the following schedule:
QR67 Doha to Frankfurt departing 7:35AM arriving 12:30PM
QR68 Frankfurt to Doha departing 3:25PM arriving 11:25PM
Apparently the other daily frequency between Doha and Frankfurt (QR69/70) will also be operated by the A350 later in January, though the schedule hasn’t yet been updated to reflect that:
QR69 Doha to Frankfurt departing 2:00AM arriving 6:55AM
QR70 Frankfurt to Doha departing 10:45AM arriving 6:40PM
How to book award flights on the A350
Award availability tends to be quite good on this route, with four business class seats not being uncommon.
Qatar is a member of the oneworld alliance, which gives you a few options for redeeming miles in business class.
American charges 30,000 miles for a one-way between the Middle East and Europe, with ~$80 in taxes and fees. This is hands-down the best deal.
US Airways Dividend Miles
US Airways charges 60,000 miles for a round-trip between the Middle East and Europe, and doesn’t levy fuel surcharges on Qatar. You could also add either an open-jaw or a stopover for that price.
British Airways Executive Club
British Airways charges 25,000 Avios for the one-way flight in business class. However, you will also pay fuel surcharges of ~$256 each way.
Revenue tickets are reasonably priced as well
Paid business class fares can be quite good as well, if you strategically position yourself. When I flew on the Qatar Airways A380 inaugural from Doha to London a couple of months ago I actually booked a paid first class ticket originating in Cairo, which dropped the fare substantially compared to what a ticket between Doha and London would have cost.
Similarly, you can book a one-way ticket in business class from Cairo to Doha to Frankfurt for ~$760. There’s even availability on the inaugural flight (which I’m booked on).
I couldn’t turn up the opportunity not only to be on a Qatar Airways inaugural flight, but also to be on the very first commercial flight for that type of aircraft.
I’m excited for the new aircraft, but am not too confident on these dates sticking. Qatar has a history of delaying delivery of new airframes (to put it mildly), and their CEO has had less than complimentary things to say about Airbus in the past.
Still, if being on one of the first commercial flights interests you, award space in January is quite good.
Anyone else planning on being on the Qatar Airways A350 inaugural?
(Tip of the hat to Roger)