Qatar Airways is taking its first steps into the US market through transatlantic codeshare services with partner Lufthansa.
From the 1st June 2006, Doha-based Qatar Airways will apply its QR code on flights operated by German carrier Lufthansa between Germany and four US destinations - Houston, New York JFK, Newark and Washington.
Qatar Airways’ new codeshare destinations strengthens a relationship with Lufthansa that has been in place for many years.
Both airlines currently codeshare on flights between Doha and Frankfurt, a route operated by the two carriers. Qatar Airways also applies its QR code on flights operated by Lufthansa between Frankfurt and Geneva, as well as Munich and Geneva. In addition, Lufthansa applies its LH code on Qatar Airways’ flights between Doha and Munich.
The enhanced partnership marks a significant step for Qatar Airways, giving the airline a foothold into the world’s biggest travel market. The airline intends to launch dedicated non-stop flights between Doha and the US east coast this year with its new state-of-the-art Airbus A340-600 aircraft.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, Akbar Al Baker, said the relationship with Lufthansa had worked extremely well and that the launch of additional codeshare flights were a logical step forward.
“Under the expanded codeshare arrangement with Lufthansa, the benefits are significant,” he said. “Passengers will have a through check-in facility, their baggage will be checked-in all the way to the US, and they will be given boarding passes at the point of departure for their entire journey.
“The transatlantic codeshare with Lufthansa marks the first step of Qatar Airways’ plans to operate dedicated flights to the US.
“Launching our own flights to the US has been on our books for sometime and we are pleased to announce that this will become reality during the course of the year. America is a key market and no airline that truly wants to be a global operator can afford to ignore the US.”