On Friday, January 29, Qatar Airways kicks off 4-time in line with week nonstop carrier among Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and Hamad International Airport (DOH) in Doha, the capital metropolis of Qatar. Daily service is ready to start in July. The airline is the use of its Boeing 777 plane with forty two business class seats and 312 financial system magnificence seats for this new service.
This new global path for Seattle was initially set to begin on March 15, 2021. But in an unusual flow, Qatar moved up the launch date by way of almost two months.
“Qatar Airways’ selection to start provider to the Pacific Northwest is a testomony to the airline’s self assurance within the energy of the location and the expectation to bounce back after the beyond year’s struggles with the pandemic,” stated Port of Seattle Commission President Fred Felleman. “We stay up for this being one of the first steps lower back to recuperation as we will quickly welcome global travelers into the new International Arrivals Facility later this year.”
In enhance of the launch, Airport Search chatted with Qatar’s Mark Drusch, SVP of Revenue Management, Alliance, and Strategy. [Answers edited for space, clarity, etc.]
Why is Seattle an crucial market for Qatar now?
Drusch says site visitors on the airline’s Los Angeles and San Francisco flights is very sturdy and the airline is seeing numerous visitors through Seattle through companions American Airlines and Alaska Airlines, which is becoming a member of the oneworld alliance. “Seattle changed into the largest gateway on the west coast we weren’t operating out of. So this [new route] is just a natural,” says Drusch.
Why flow up the launch?
“Our San Francisco service [launched December 15] has taken off so quick, and the development bookings for Seattle in March have been so tremendously strong,” says Drusch. “With that and the truth that we have been making exquisite development in setting up a partnership with Alaska, we stated, ‘Why have to we wait?”
Isn’t moving up a launch complicated?
“It is only complicated in which you need to work through the information together with your crews – pilots and flight attendants. But we had sufficient improve be aware that we should do that,” says Drush. “And, definitely, pre-COVID it might were a lot greater tough. During COVID we've greater pilots and further flight attendants, and we've got extra flexibility than we’ve had in the beyond.”
What about the partnership with Alaska Airlines?
“Alaska is becoming a member of oneworld at the stop of March, and we are a member of oneworld, so we will obviously have a partnership with them through oneworld. But we’ve been talking to them approximately having an greater courting as opposed to the oneworld dating. We haven’t introduced something yet, but stay tuned you would possibly listen something rapidly.”
How is the inflight provider altered in response to COVID-19 concerns?
Qatar is the usage of a Boeing 777 aircraft for this direction with Qsuites in business elegance. The suites have sliding doorways, “so whilst you are in your Qsuite you don’t have to use your mask,” says Drusch. Full meal carrier is being presented in both enterprise class and teach, with a few adjustments. Flight attendants are in complete PPE, inclusive of face shields. All planes are being cleaned each 24 hours with an automated UV gadget.
What unique activities are planned for the inaugural touchdown and take-off of this new Qatar flight at SEA?
A social-distanced gate celebration will consist of a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Passengers will acquire gift baggage with local treats from Seattle, Qatar Airways, Alaska Airlines, and Boeing.