BA to fly non-stop to Doha & Muscat from Sunday 30 October 2016

London Air Travel » Doha

British Airways Boeing 787-9 First Class (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Boeing 787-9 First Class (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways is to introduce direct non-stop flights from London Heathrow to Doha in Qatar and Muscat in Oman from Sunday 30 October 2016.

BA has long served both Doha and Muscat. However, a one hour stop-over in Bahrain for Doha and Abu Dhabi for Muscat has been required, adding approximately two hours each way to the journey time.

BA will now fly daily direct to Doha with a four class Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner. BA will fly five times a week to Muscat with a four class Boeing 777-200 aircraft. Flights are on sale now at

Why has BA introduced this change?

Well, it now has more departure and arrival slots at London Heathrow. The flight times are more convenient for passengers. Airlines also prefer not to use long-haul aircraft for short flights for operational reasons.

The one significant change is that flights from London Heathrow to Doha will now arrive in Doha in the morning rather than late at night.

BA codeshares with Qatar Airways, a shareholder in BA’s parent company International Airlines Group, on a number of routes from Doha to Dar es Salaam, Peshawar, Karachi, Entebbe, Dhaka, Islamabad and Lahore. Passengers with existing bookings will need to review their itineraries to see if connections are valid or if accommodation is required in Doha.

It is also worth noting that BA does offer flights between Bahrain and Doha and between Abu Dhabi and Muscat for sale and these will clearly not be available from Sunday 30 October.

Flight schedules to Bahrain and Abu Dhabi have also been adjusted to account for the changes to these routes. All flights will also continue to operate from London Heathrow Terminal 5.
Continue reading “BA to fly non-stop to Doha & Muscat from Sunday 30 October 2016”

Qatar Airways opens up London-Doha-Adelaide from 2 May 2016

London Air Travel » Doha

Qatar Airways Logo
Qatar Airways Logo (Credit: Qatar Airways)

Just a couple of weeks after Qatar Airways announced that it is to fly from Doha to Sydney the airline continues its expansion in the Australia market, the with the launch of a daily flight from Doha to Adelaide from Monday 2 May 2016.

This is Qatar Airways’ fourth destination in Australia after (as mentioned above) Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

Qatar will fly to Adelaide using its latest Airbus A350 aircraft, operating in a two class (business and economy) configuration.

The aircraft comprises 36 seats in business class in a 1-2-1 configuration, featuring 80″ fully-flat beds and 17″ HD in-flight entertainment screens, and 247 seats in economy, each 18-inches wide in a 3-3-3 configuration, with up to a 32″ pitch. Each individual economy seat features a 10.6″ in-flight entertainment screen. Wi-Fi is also available in all classes.

Flight QR 914 Depart Doha 20:55 – Arrive Adelaide 16:20
Flight QR 915 Depart Adelaide 21:30 – Arrive Doha 04:50

As Qatar Airways is a member of the Oneworld alliance, members of other Oneworld alliance frequent flyer programmes will be able to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles on this route.

Qatar Airways opens up London-Doha-Sydney from 1 March 2016

London Air Travel » Doha

Qatar Airways aircraft in Oneworld livery
Qatar Airways aircraft in Oneworld livery (Image Credit: Oneworld)

If there’s one route from London where travellers have an unrivalled choice of routes and airlines, it has to be London – Sydney.

Sydney is a destination that cannot be reached non-stop from London requiring a stop-over en route (hence the name the “The Kangaroo Route”).

Not long ago, it was typically a choice of a stop-over in Singapore or Bangkok. Now there is not only a vast choice of stop-overs in Asia, but also the Middle East with Emirates in particular soaking up significant volumes of traffic between Europe and Australia.

Qatar Airways is one of the Middle Eastern airlines that, to date, has not served Sydney. However, a relaxation of the bilateral treaty that governs flights between Qatar and Australia has allowed Qatar Airways to launch a new route from Doha to Sydney from Tuesday 1 March 2016.

Flights will be operated with a two class Boeing 777 aircraft and are well timed for connections to and from London Heathrow. The early evening arrival in Sydney will be welcome to those who prefer to avoid an early morning arrival.

Flight QR908 Depart Doha 20:10 – Arrive Sydney 18:05
Flight QR909 Depart Sydney 22:20 – Arrive Doha 05:05
Continue reading “Qatar Airways opens up London-Doha-Sydney from 1 March 2016”

Iberia targets Tokyo, Doha, Johannesburg, Toronto, Guadalajara, Managua, San Juan, Brasilia, & Asuncion

London Air Travel » Doha

Iberia (Image Credit: Iberia)

Iberia is to examine opening new routes (and in some cases re-instating routes) to Tokyo, Doha, Johannesburg, Toronto, Guadalajara (Mexico), Managua (Nicaragua), San Juan de Puerto Rico, Brasilia and Asuncion (Paraguay) the airline announced today, 31 July 2015.

The routes are likely to launch in 2016 and 2017 and are subject to its parent company, International Airlines Group, placing orders for additional aircraft, including five Airbus 330-200 aircraft, with Airbus.  

IAG also hopes to order a further eight Airbus A350-900 aircraft as a replacement for Iberia’s existing fleet. An announcement could be made as early as next week.

The announcement is significant as it is further evidence of IAG’s turnaround of Iberia which has also seen the airline launch new routes to Medellin and Cali in Columbia.

That said, it has to be said it is somewhat unusual for an airline to announce a possible order for aircraft in advance of it being finalised. 

Nor do airlines normally give away much with regard to future route launches, for obvious competitive reasons (though negotiations with airports on landing fees could be a factor).

Of the routes mentioned Doha and Tokyo are noteworthy as these would be the airline’s only routes to the Middle East and Asia and would be the airline’s first step in making Madrid a global (rather than purely west bound) long-haul hub. We assume they would be supported by code shares with fellow Oneworld alliance partners Qatar Airways and Japan Airlines.  

It is noteworthy that Hong Kong and Singapore are not listed, particularly Hong Kong as it is the hub of fellow alliance partner Cathay Pacific.

The launch of more routes to Central and South America also cements Iberia’s position in this market. We are surprised not to see more North American destinations, but these are of course well served by British Airways.

Qatar Airways launches all business class London Heathrow – Doha flight

London Air Travel » Doha

Qatar Airways Logo
Qatar Airways Logo (Credit: Qatar Airways)

We have to admit to being a little surprised by Qatar Airways’ plans to launch an all business class flight from London Heathrow to Doha, from 15 May 2014. This will complement the airline’s five daily services between the two cities.

That one of the “Middle East Three” carriers is adding capacity to London Heathrow is not unexpected. It’s one of the largest business and premium travel markets in the world and the Middle East carriers have generally been able to pursue an unfettered expansion in the UK, unlike, say, Germany.

Nor it is unusual for an airline to launch a scheduled business class only service. BA has its own all business service from London City to New York JFK, for example.

However, given how sought after Heathrow slot pairs are for relatively small new entrants, it is little unusual to see a valuable slot pair used for a 40 seat all business class service.

We can only deduce that, aircraft availability issues aside, Qatar wishes to pursue high margin business travellers over the volume that a larger aircraft could provide.

Flight QR16 will depart London Heathrow at 9.55pm and arrives into Doha at 6.40am (well suited for business travellers flying only to Doha).

Flight QR15 will depart Doha at 2.50pm and arrives into London Heathrow at 8.25pm (not quite so well suited for point to point business travellers).

This service will no doubt be attractive to those able to take advantage of it. For completeness, it’s also worth adding that as Qatar Airways is a member of the Oneworld alliance, members of Oneworld frequent flyer programmes will be able to earn and redeem their respective frequent flyer miles on this flight.