Official: Qatar Airways Adding Doha To Las Vegas Flights In 2018

In June 2016, Qatar Airways first announced their intent to begin flying between Doha and Las Vegas, which seems like a rather random route. It’s especially surprising when you consider that Qatar Airways doesn’t even fly to San Francisco, which you’d think would be a much bigger market.

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At the time, Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways’ CEO, announced that the airline would offer daily Boeing 777-300ER service between the two cities as of January 2017. We didn’t hear anything else about the new route for a while, and then this past November Qatar Airways “announced” eight new routes, and Doha to Las Vegas was among them. Qatar Airways is known for not being the most credible airline out there, as they again “announced” the route without an actual start date.

Well, the route is now official.

Qatar Airways will launch 4x weekly Boeing 777-200LR flights between Doha and Las Vegas as of January 8, 2018. So yeah, the route is a year later than originally announced, 4x weekly rather than daily, and on a 777-200 rather than a 777-300… minor details. 😉

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The new route will operate Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, with the following schedule:

QR737 Doha to Las Vegas departing 8:05AM arriving 1:00PM
QR738 Las Vegas to Doha departing 2:55PM arriving 5:20PM (+1 day)

The flight is blocked at 15hr55min westbound and 15hr25min eastbound. Qatar Airways’ 777-200LR aircraft feature 42 business class seats and 217 economy seats. Business class seats are fully flat and in 2-2-2 configuration, so they’re perfectly comfortable, but not the most private if traveling alone. While Qatar Airways is in the process of announcing a new “super business class,” that product will debut on the 777-300ER, and not the 777-200LR.

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Personally I still don’t think this route is anywhere close to being set in stone. I’m particularly suspicious of Qatar Airways operating a 777-200LR on the route. The airline has only nine of them, and there are some routes which can only be operated by this plane.

Qatar Airways delayed the launch of their Doha to Auckland route due to lack of availability of any 777-200LR aircraft, so I have to wonder what route they’ll take the plane off of to make room for this flight.

Bottom line

Qatar Airways is one step closer to launching a flight between Doha and Las Vegas. However, they’re also possibly the least credible airline on earth when it comes to announcing new routes, so I’ll assume the route is set in stone when the inaugural flight takes off. As you can see, we’ve gone from a daily 777-300ER flight expected to launch in January 2017, to a 4x weekly 777-200LR flight expected to launch in January 2018. So they’re offering about half the capacity they initially claimed, a year later then they initially claimed.

I’ll be curious to see if/when this flight actually gets off the ground…

Comments

  1. Interesting, but I think I’ll pass. With both endpoints of this route located in the desert, it’s only a matter of time til sand gets in the cabin. Anyone who’s ever been to the beach knows that stuff is impossible to get out.

  2. I bet half the Qataris I work with will be on this! Most of them visit Vegas when they fly to LA.

    Out of interest regarding the summer temperatures which could affect takeoffs, I wonder how Vegas differs to the summers in Doha?

  3. Do you seriously think that Qatar Airways don’t know how to handle heat. Do you think that the Las Vegas sun is going to be worse then the 50°C felt in Doha in the summer.

  4. As Vegas increased in popularity I could see this route being popular among Middle Eastern/South Asian travelers looking to visit Vegas. That said, the Vegas market is pretty much full of low yield travelers, no?

    While I’m sure Qatar has a great J product, is their Y product any better to warrant a premium price? Why would someone fly from Cairo, Riyadh, Muscat, Beirut, Delhi, Mumbai, when other 1 stop route are available via Dubai, London, Paris, etc…

    This doesnt even look like the most high end J product they offer so why would a rich oil baron fly this over Emirates F?

  5. @Alex – what are you talking about? Y on any and all ME3 carriers is bargain basement pricing. They do NOT in any market command a premium in Y. Do you really think that $800 roiundtrip Y fares in Y from the USA to India are premium fares? No. Not even close. UA gets higher fares – p[remium Y fares – from NYC to BOM and DEL because it’s nonstop. THAT’S how they get the premium. People will fly QR to LAS because it’ll be CHEAP in the back. that’s it. None of the ME3 can command a premium on any route they fly, that’s the biggest myth out there.
    Rich oil barons will fly their own private jets, not QR, when they go to vegas, if they do.

  6. I could see it working with Chinese or South Asian tourists traveling XXX-DOH-LAS. Though I agree, that’s probably going to be mostly low yield package tour type of pax.

  7. I think you’ll see this market, as small as it may be today, grow substantially. Not to mention the premium revenues that Vegas would probably see out of the region. Besides, this is more about India to Las Vegas than anything else which makes sense when you look at the growing businesses and tech around Southern Nevada.

  8. I agree with you Lucky–LAS over SFO?! Strange indeed. Like you, I think they’d do well by coming to the Bay Area. If Al Baker had any sense, he should announce the launch of service between SFO-DOH on the 777-300ER and market the hell out of it to the large ex-pat Punjabi community in the greater Bay Area. They would no doubt jump at the chance to be able to fly straight to their homeland by landing in Amritsar (ATQ) which Qatar Airways exclusively serves amongst the big Middle East carriers. True, you can get there from SFO via Air India but then you’re flying Air India, sooooooooo….LOL!

    Or as an alternative, he should think about putting a 787-9 to fly from San Jose (SJC), which has seen some nice international expansion of late, to DOH. That way you directly capture the Silicon Valley crowd and don’t have to worry about competing against Ethiad or Emirates since neither of them currently fly from there.

    Just my two cents…your thoughts?

  9. Tony, the temperature issues at Vegas are not dissimilar to those at Doha.

    Presumably that is why they are using a 777-200ER although i am baffled by the claim that there are some routes where that is the only plane that can do it. Really?

  10. Samuel, I can think of two reasons to prefer LAS to SFO.

    1) Asia is obsessed with gambling and there might be significant demand for a one-stop route to LAS.

    2) LAS is better for onward connections than SFO because of its more central location

    Emirates and Ethihad already fly to SFO

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