Qatar Airways remains confident that it will be able to launch daily non-stop flights between Doha and New York on October 26 despite the continuing Boeing strike affecting aircraft deliveries.The Doha-based airline has been given assurances by Boeing that its fourth Boeing 777-300 Extended Range aircraft to be used on the route, will be delivered in time and not affect the New York operational schedule.
Once delivered, the aircraft will be paired with a second Boeing 777, which arrived in Doha at the end of August, to begin the daily non-stop service linking the Qatari capital with New York’s JFK International Airport.
“Qatar Airways’ existing New York operation has proved very successful since its launch in Summer 2007 and we look forward to offering our customers an enhanced service to and from one of the world’s most important cities by switching the flights from Newark to JFK,” said Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker.
“Our new daily non-stop flight from Doha to New York’s JFK International Airport further strengthens our commitment to serving the North American continent. We already serve Washington non-stop from Doha so the additional capacity into New York will give us double daily flights between Qatar and the United States.”
The airline does however plan to defer the launch of the carrier’s third US route connecting Doha and Houston - the energy capitals of the Middle East and United States - to March 30 next year due to aircraft delivery schedules affected by the current strike by Boeing employees.
The first of Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777-200 Long Range aircraft to be used on the route was due to be delivered in November ahead of the scheduled December 8 Houston launch. But due to uncertainty over future aircraft deliveries arising from the Boeing machinist’s strike, Qatar Airways has decided to postpone the launch to March 30, 2009.
“Qatar Airways is taking all steps necessary to contact passengers who have booked tickets to and from Houston and assist them with making alternative travel arrangements,” Al Baker said.
Since November 2007, the airline has received three of the 32 Boeing 777 variants on order from Boeing. Two Boeing 777-300 Extended Range aircraft are currently deployed on the airline’s Doha - Washington DC route non-stop, while a third is operating intra-Gulf services awaiting the arrival of the fourth aircraft when it will be shifted to the Doha - New York JFK route.
The Boeing 777-300ER being deployed on the New York route and Boeing 777-200LR for use on the Houston service, both feature 180 degrees lie-flat Business Class seats and the state-of-the-art Panasonic eX2 in-flight entertainment system with over 700 audio video on demand entertainment options for every passenger.