Back in May, Qatar Airways announced some huge expansion to the US, whereby we’re seeing them add flights to Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, and New York. The first three are new destinations altogether, while they’re adding a second daily frequency to New York.
The flight to Boston and additional frequency to New York will launch in March 2016, and will be operated by Airbus A350s. So it was looking like New York would be the first US destination to get the A350. But that’s not the case.
Qatar Airways has just announced that they will begin A350 flights between Doha and Philadelphia as of January 1, 2016. The daily flight is presently operated by a Boeing 777-200LR, with the following schedule:
QR727 Doha to Philadelphia departing 1:05AM arriving 7:30AM
QR728 Philadelphia to Doha departing 10:15AM arriving 6:50AM (+1 day)
Via Qatar’s CEO, Akbar Al Baker:
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “We are very pleased to announce the launch of our first A350 service to the United States. Philadelphia is the sixth largest metropolitan area in the USA and is an important international business hub that is home to seven Fortune 1000 companies. With the launch of the new A350 service from January 1st next year, Qatar Airways will be further strengthening its position in Philadelphia and the US overall as an airline offering passengers a world-class travel experience.”
So why should you care about the fact that Qatar Airways is starting to operate A350s to the US, rather than 777s?
Because Qatar Airways’ A350s feature reverse herringbone business class seats and onboard wifi, so it’s a top notch hard product.
Meanwhile the 777s just feature standard forward facing business class seats, and don’t feature wifi.
Qatar Airways 777 business class cabin
Qatar Airways 777 business class seat
So while Qatar Airways’ 777 business class was fine, it has never been cutting edge. Finally having A350 service to the US means Qatar Airways will finally be offering an industry leading product on their flights to the US.
Interestingly Qatar Airways’ “super business class” is supposed to debut on the 777s, so here’s to hoping I don’t regret saying this, since rumor has it that the new product could be rolled out within the next year or two, initially.