San Francisco becomes the carrier’s newest gateway, with flights operated by the sustainable A350 aircraft
As Qatar Airways continues to rapidly rebuild its network across the globe and in the U.S., the airline has announced it will operate four weekly flights to San Francisco – the fifth new destination launched by the national carrier of the State of Qatar since the start of the pandemic – from December 15, 2020. The San Francisco service will be operated by Qatar Airways’ state-of-the-art Airbus A350-900, featuring 36 seats in the award-winning Qsuite Business Class and 247 seats in Economy Class with passengers enjoying free Super Wi-Fi broadband internet until January 2021.
The World’s Best Airline and the only Middle East carrier operating to San Francisco has continued to grow and innovate during the pandemic with industry-leading flexible booking policies, robust safety measures and a dependable network, all providing strong levels of reliability for passengers. Throughout the pandemic, Qatar Airways continued operations to the U.S. with flights to both Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said, “We are thrilled to welcome San Francisco as our newest destination and our ninth current gateway in the U.S. As we navigate the crisis, we have made it a priority to not only reinstate our existing destinations and be the airline travelers can rely on, but to also grow our network and increase connectivity with new and relevant destinations for our customers to enjoy."
“As the gateway to Silicon Valley and the vibrant tech economy, the San Francisco Bay Area is a globally important destination, both from a business and leisure perspective. Populated with many people wanting to visit friends, families or business partners overseas, Qatar Airways is perfectly positioned as the reliable airline partner to enable traffic in and out of the area. We are excited as we launch this new destination, making it easier for our passengers to reunite with their loved ones, having taken more than 220,000 Americans home to the U.S. via scheduled and chartered flights amid the pandemic.”
San Francisco International Airport Director, Mr. Ivar C. Satero, said, “We are proud to welcome Qatar Airways’ new nonstop service between San Francisco and Doha this December. As airlines restore travel destinations around the world, we applaud the vision of Qatar Airways to make this new route a reality, and we look forward to offering a world-class airport experience to travelers from its network.”
Business Class passengers on this flight can enjoy the award-winning Qsuite Business Class seat with its enhanced privacy, including sliding privacy doors and the option to use a ‘Do Not Disturb (DND)’ indicator. The Qsuite seat layout is a 1-2-1 configuration, providing passengers to the Middle East and beyond with the most spacious, fully private, comfortable and socially distanced Business Class product in the sky.
The addition of San Francisco will build onto Qatar Airways’ current service to some of the most vibrant cities in the U.S., including Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), New York (JFK), Philadelphia (PHL) and Washington, D.C. (IAD). By mid-December, the carrier will fly 55 weekly flights to nine destinations in the U.S. that will connect onto hundreds of American cities through partnerships with American Airlines and JetBlue. Qatar Airways codeshares on all American Airlines flights within the U.S., Mexico and Central America. The new service will offer excellent connections from the U.S. to global destinations in Africa, India (subject to NOTAMS), Nepal, Pakistan and South Africa, amongst others, via the best, most customer-friendly airport in the Middle East that consistently leads the way in safety and security measures.
To provide travelers with unrivaled peace of mind, Qatar Airways has extended its booking policies to offer even more choice and flexibility to its passengers, now available for all tickets issued before December 31, 2020. The airline will allow unlimited date changes, and passengers can change their destination as often as they need if it is within 5,000 miles of the original destination. Additionally, the airline will not charge any fare differences for travel completed before December 31, 2020, after which fare rules will apply. All tickets booked for travel up to December 31, 2020 will be valid for two years from the date of issuance. Of note, Qatar Airways has issued USD 1.4 billion in refunds to almost 600,000 passengers – including $164.8 million in refunds to U.S. passengers – since March and will continue to offer refunds for travel completed before December 31, 2020. For full terms and conditions visit qatarairways.com/RelyOnUs.
According to the latest IATA data, Qatar Airways became the largest international carrier between April to July by fulfilling its mission of taking people home. This enabled the airline to accumulate unmatched experience in carrying passengers safely and reliably and uniquely positioned the airline to effectively rebuild its network.
Onboard, Qatar Airways has stringently implemented the most advanced safety and hygiene measures, including the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for cabin crew and a complimentary protective kit and disposable face shields for passengers. Additionally, the carrier recently became the first international carrier to operate Honeywell’s Ultraviolet (UV) Cabin System, further advancing its hygiene measures onboard. For full details of all the measures that have been implemented on board and in HIA, please visit qatarairways.com/safety.
Qatar Airways’ home and hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA), has implemented stringent cleaning procedures and applied social distancing measures throughout its terminals. Passenger touchpoints are sanitized every 10-15 minutes and boarding gates and bus gate counters are cleaned after each flight. In addition, hand sanitizer is provided at immigration and security screening points. HIA was recently ranked Third Best Airport in the World, among 550 airports worldwide, by the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2020. HIA was also voted the Best Airport in the Middle East for the sixth year in a row and Best Staff Service in the Middle East for the fifth year in a row. For full details of all the measures that have been implemented on board and in HIA, please visit qatarairways.com/safety.
Qatar Airways’ variety of modern fuel-efficient aircraft has allowed the airline to continue flying by offering the right capacity in each market. Due to COVID-19’s impact on travel demand, the carrier has decided to ground its fleet of Airbus A380s as it is not commercially or environmentally justifiable to operate such a large aircraft in the current market. The airline’s fleet of 49 Airbus A350 and 30 Boeing 787 are the ideal choices for the most strategically important long-haul routes, including those in the U.S.