Starting in October, British Airways will begin flying direct from Doha to London, dropping its stopover in Bahrain, the carrier has announced.
The airline has been flying between London Heathrow and Doha for 57 years, but has always stopped in Manama on both the outward and return legs of the journey.
The new flight, which will depart from Doha in the morning instead of late at night, will cut more than an hour and a half off the current travel time of nearly nine hours.
The airline will continue to fly the Boeing 777 on the new service, which will begin on Oct. 31.
When the new flight launches, British Airways will depart daily at 9:50am instead of 11:20pm, and arrive in London at 2:50pm. It will take around seven hours and 15 minutes.
The return flight from Heathrow’s Terminal 5 will depart at 10:25pm and arrive the following morning in Doha at 8:15am.
In a statement announcing the non-stop service, British Airways recalled the early days of its London-Doha route:
“In the late sixties, the airline’s route was serviced by a Bristol Britannia aircraft with passengers making stops in Beirut and Bahrain on the way to Doha. The total flying time was 13 hours and five minutes.”
The new direct service to London Heathrow means that passengers from Qatar will soon have seven non-stop daily flights to the British capital to choose from.
And initially at least, this increased competition will mean lower fares.
A ticket on British Airways in economy in mid-November will cost QR2,620 per person, while the lowest available fare on Qatar Airways for the same dates is QR3,950.
However, whether the price difference between the two carriers will remain as distinct is unclear, now that both airlines are operating non-stop routes between the two cities.