Qatar Airways is to launch an all-business class service from its Doha base to London Heathrow. It says it is the first airline to operate such an aircraft into the London hub.
British Airways uses an all-business class A318 for services to New York JFK, but this departs from London City Airport.
The oneworld carrier will use a 40-seat Airbus A319 in 2-2, fully-flat configuration for the service, which will start May 15 and form a sixth daily frequency on the Doha-Heathrow sector. Qatar Airways recently bought a new slot pair at the heavily runway-constrained London hub.
The new service will leave Doha in mid-afternoon, arriving in London in mid-evening, while the return sector will leave Heathrow later in the evening for an early-morning arrival at Doha.
“The London Heathrow-Doha route is one of Qatar Airways’ most popular international routes and it was only fitting that we introduce an all-business class service on this key route, where customers will also be able to benefit from our new Qatar Airways premium lounge in London Heathrow’s Terminal 4, and of course the Premium Terminal in Doha," Qatar Airways’ CEO Akbar Al Baker said in a statement.
The London route is Qatar Airways’ first foray into the all-business class sector and follows a trend towards greater emphasis on premium cabins in the region. Several low-cost and hybrid carriers, such as FlyNas, flydubai and Jazeera Airways have introduced premium seating.