Qatar’s national carrier will begin flights to Miami next June, making the Florida city the airline’s sixth destination in the USA, and its first connection to the Middle East in five years.
Qatar’s national airline currently flies to Chicago, Houston, New York and Washington D.C., with flights to its fifth destination, Philadelphia, due to begin next April, a month later than previously announced.
Qatar Airways will fly to Miami International Airport (MIA) four times a week, using a Boeing 777-200LR with 42 seats in Business and 217 seats in Economy.
Airport officials, speaking to the Miami Herald, said that the service, which they hope will eventually become daily, is the region’s first link to the Middle East since El Al cancelled a route to Tel Aviv in 2008:
“This is huge because Qatar Airways serves a part of the world, quite frankly, that we don’t have much access to,” Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González, told the paper.
Aside from providing new travel opportunities, it’s expected that the new route will bring 536 jobs and an expected $78 million in new business revenue to the Miami area.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker told the Herald that the decision to fly into Miami was motivated partly by the airline’s joining of the oneworld alliance later this month:
“Miami was a clear choice for us. It’s a large international travel market, both inbound and outbound, and Qatar Airways’ membership in Oneworld gives people in the U.S. many more options for international travel.”
Further US expansion?
Miami is an unexpected choice for Qatar Airways, which last year stated that it intended to operate flights to Atlanta, Detroit and Boston “by the early part of 2014.”
So far, none of these new routes have been confirmed, possibly due to the lengthy grounding of the 787 Dreamliner, which Al Baker had previously described as “very big problem for us.”
The issues have forced Qatar Airways to rearrange flight schedules and delay the start of some routes “in order to mitigate the serious impact.” The airline may also be awaiting the arrival of its first A380, scheduled for delivery next spring.
Meanwhile, the airline’s Gulf rivals are also eyeing new US routes. Earlier this month, Abu Dhabi-base Etihad announced plans to start flights to Los Angeles from next June, the airline’s fourth US destination, and Emirates has been in talks with Boeing about the 777X, which will be able to fly non-stop for 20 hours, increasing the Dubai-based airline’s reach even further.
The three airlines’ global expansion rate is not welcomed by everyone, particularly those working with rival airlines outside the region.
Michael Wisbrun, managing director of Amsterdam-based aviation alliance SkyTeam, told Arabian Business that he feels the three major Gulf airlines will need to focus on more niche routes in order to co-exist in the future:
“If they want to build their own global system in the Middle East and are striving to be a global entity then it seems that three of those airlines in the Middle East look like a little bit too much if you project it into the coming ten years.
But if their scope and scale is focused on their relevant role to connecting the India market with Africa, the Australian market with Europe, their position is natural and I don’t see why they couldn’t continue and be sustainable.”
Credit: Photo by Slack12
Major 90s flashback in my head :
Welcome to Miami (bienvenido a Miami)
I’m going to Miami
reminds me of the theme of the tv series miami vice
Excellent move. Will allow them to tap into a larger Caribbean market due to the abundance of cheap flights from Miami.
No idea why they would want to fly to Detriot, surely that was added in as a joke.
Miami makes sense as a lot of people in the gulf would like to take holidays there and they have a number of colleges that Gulf nationals like to attend in Florida.
Because Michigan is the arab captial. I see more arabs there than I do here.
Yes, I thought everyone left Detroit.
Its a hub for Delta
trips to disney!
DisneyWorld would be a simple 1 hour trip MIA-MCO … after the 17h trip and customs/immigration …
Barely an hour- actually 40 minutes! Very excited to be able to land so close to home. Do you think it will actually be 17 hours? I was estimating more like 14.
yes..14, the flight back would be closer to 17h
I wonder why they’re not using their dreamliners for this route?
Where’s “DickDePilot” when you need him? He’d know… 🙂
I would think that capacity and availability would be the main issues. Business seating on the dream liners is much less, and these US connections seem to have a heavy business presence (less so than the London routes).
That’s a good point too.
I’m here now but not a QA pilot. I would suggest that, with the potential passenger loads and distance to cover it will more likely be a 777 route
I was wondering if maybe it was a range thing.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Qatar Airways!!! Now- can you tell me again why you will be flying to both Boston and Philadelphia? A bit close together, no? How about LAX or St. Louis. Ditch Detroit and fly to Minneapolis.
yeah, don’t get Boston & Philly since they have JFK. How about Atlanta? I’m keeping my finger crossed for that :-p
Miami Miami you’ve got style
Blue skies sunshine, white sand by the mile
When you live in this town each day is sublime the coldest of winters are warm and divine
Miami Miami you’ve got style blue skies sunshine white sand by the mile
There’s ball- clubs and night- clubs all with in reach, dance the samba till morning then lie on the beach
Each view is a postcard each day a great time
Its the cream of the crop , its the top of the line
Miami Miami you’ve blue skies sunshine white sand by the mile
MIAMI YOU’VE GOT STYLE!
Well anything that gets the Americans out of the country quicker has to be a good thing….
Yeah seriously, from their loud attire on the golf course to their even louder voices and lack of English skills and the inability to pronounce places names in the Middle East this is a great thing….
Ouch. On the other hand, I am happy to leave quickly at the drop of a hat – especially in case of emergency.
I think you have us mixed up with another group of “English speaking” people. Though it is great to be an American in Qatar- We get the highest salary of all expats… 🙂
I hope that was not two Americans who voted me down but if it was I would question their sense of humour…..
Is that Dexter’s boat in the photo?
No. Definitely need Boston. Philly is close enough to DC and and JFK. Atlanta would be good: people who complain about rush-hour traffic in Doha can be sent there for a global perspective how bad it can be.
Detroit holds the largest number of Middle Eastern people outside of the Middle East.
How about Charlotte. Huge Oneworld hub because of USAirways and AA merger. Can feed a lot of flights in and outbound. Better for Oneworld than Atlanta.