Qatar Airways has announced the launch of four weekly flights to Seattle from 15 March 2021, marking the seventh new destination launched by the national carrier of the State of Qatar since the start of the pandemic. This news comes as the airline continues to strengthen its network across the globe through reinstating flights, adding new destinations and expanding its strategic partnerships. The Seattle service will be operated by Qatar Airways’ state-of-the-art Airbus state-of-the-art Airbus A350-900 featuring 36 seats in the award-winning Qsuite Business Class and 247 seats in Economy Class.
The national carrier of the State of Qatar also announced a frequent flyer partnership with Alaska Airlines. From 15 December 2020, Qatar Airways Privilege Club and Alaska Mileage Plan members will be able to earn frequent flyer miles and from 31 March 2021 members can also redeem frequent flyer miles on both carriers’ full networks, and elite status perks including lounge access. The two airlines are also working closely on developing a codeshare agreement and commercial cooperation in line with the U.S. carrier joining oneworld on 31 March 2021.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Qatar Airways is committed to enhancing connectivity within the U.S. market, and the launch of flights to Seattle, our second new U.S. destination since the onset of the pandemic, epitomises this commitment. We are excited to welcome Washington State’s largest city as our seventh new destination announced this year, and our eleventh U.S. gateway, surpassing the number of destinations we operated in the U.S. pre-COVID19. Home to a large tech industry and a portal of innovation, Seattle is a destination that is internationally renowned for business and leisure travel.
“Despite the challenges of 2020, Qatar Airways has remained committed to exploring every opportunity to further enhance the travel experience for our millions of passengers and is proud to secure another important strategic partnership in North America. In Alaska Airlines, we will have a very strong partner to connect customers from the U.S. West Coast to Doha and beyond via its hubs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, complementing our existing strategic partnerships with American Airlines and JetBlue. We look forward to further deepening our cooperation with the newest joiner to the oneworld family and continuing to provide our passengers the reliable, safe and award-winning service that they have come to trust from us.”
Alaska Air Group Chairman and CEO, Mr. Brad Tilden, said: “We’re thrilled to be joining the oneworld alliance and to begin this new partnership with an outstanding airline like Qatar Airways. As more of us resume international air travel next year, we are excited to offer our guests new nonstop service on Qatar Airways from Seattle to Doha, in addition to service to Doha from our hubs in Los Angeles and San Francisco. This partnership opens up tremendous destinations around the world and amazing opportunities for our guests.”
Port of Seattle Commission President, Mr. Peter Steinbrueck, said: “This commitment by Qatar Airways, despite the current situation with the pandemic, is a testament to how the world views the long-term strength and resiliency of the Puget Sound region. This also supports the Port’s decision to continue to invest in projects such as the International Arrivals Facility and North Satellite Modernization to provide a better experience for travelers from around the world.”
Business Class passengers flying to Seattle will enjoy the award-winning Qsuite business class seat, featuring 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 with the most spacious, fully private, comfortable and socially distanced Business Class product in the sky.
The launch of flights to Seattle in March 2021 will increase Qatar Airways’ U.S. network to 59 weekly flights to 11 destinations in the U.S., connecting onwards to hundreds of American cities through strategic partnerships with Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and JetBlue. Seattle joins existing U.S. destinations including Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK), Philadelphia (PHL), San Francisco (SFO) and Washington, D.C. (IAD).
Throughout the pandemic, Qatar Airways never stopped flying to the U.S. in order to take more than 260,000 Americans home to their loved ones, with flights to Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth maintained during the entire period. The World’s Best Airline continued to grow and innovate since the onset of the pandemic with industry-leading flexible booking policies, comprehensive health and safety measures and a reliable network.
Qatar Airways currently operates more than 700 weekly flights to over 100 destinations across the globe. By the end of March 2021, Qatar Airways plans to rebuild its network to 126 destinations including 20 in Africa, 11 in the Americas, 29 in Asia-Pacific, 38 in Europe, 13 in India and 15 in the Middle East. Many cities will be served with a strong schedule with daily or more frequencies.
Qatar Airways strategic investment in a variety of fuel-efficient twin-engine aircraft, including the largest fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft, has enabled it to continue flying throughout this crisis and perfectly positions it to lead the sustainable recovery of international travel. The airline recently took delivery of three new state-of-the-art Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, increasing its total A350 fleet to 52 with an average age of just 2.6 years. Due to COVID-19’s impact on travel demand, the airline has grounded its fleet of Airbus A380s as it is not environmentally justifiable to operate such a large, four-engine aircraft in the current market. Qatar Airways has also recently launched a new programme that enables passengers to voluntarily offset the carbon emissions associated with their journey at the point of booking.