Qatar Airways Begins Limited Chicago Flights

Qatar Airways began service to Chicago on April 10, 2013, using Boeing 777 aircraft. (Courtesy of Qatar Airways)

Qatar Airways began service to Chicago on April 10, 2013, using Boeing 777 aircraft. (Courtesy of Qatar Airways)

Qatar Airways inaugurated nonstop flights between Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and Qatar’s Doha International Airport on April 10, 2013, but has been thwarted in its plans to offer daily flights by the worldwide grounding of Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

The grounding had “a serious impact on Qatar Airways,” said CEO Akbar Al Baker. Chicago is one of six new destinations for Qatar in 2013. Though Chicago flights are using Boeing 777 aircraft, the loss of Qatar’s five 787s caused the airline to reshuffle its operations worldwide preventing it from offering daily service from Chicago until June 15, the date it expects its 787s will be in the air again. It now offers thrice-weekly service from Chicago. “Our plans for expansion were severely disrupted,” said Al Baker, adding that Qatar usually puts a new aircraft into service within three hours of delivery.  The airline expects to receive compensation from Boeing for the loss of the use of its five 787s, though he declined to name a figure.

Business-class seats on Qatar Airways 777s have flat bed sleeper seats. (Courtesy of Qatar Airways)

Business-class seats on Qatar Airways 777s have flat bed sleeper seats. (Courtesy of Qatar Airways)

Billing itself as the “world’s best airline,” Qatar is the national carrier of the State of Qatar and was named Airline of the Year by Skytrax in 2011 and 2012. Its Chicago flights on Boeing 777 aircraft have a 3-3-3 configuration in economy class, one row fewer than its competitors. Business class has 180-degree flat bed sleeper seats. In Doha, business passengers will have use of its dedicated Premium Terminal with a first- and business-class lounge featuring a spa, fine dining and duty-free shopping.

Qatar Airways Group also owns Doha International Airport and is building Hamad International Airport, also in Doha, with an opening projected by the end of 2013. The new and larger airport has the world’s longest runway.

Qatar Airways is a new code share partner with American Airlines and plans to join its One World alliance by the end of 2013.

Other U.S. cities served by Qatar Airways are Houston, New York and Washington, D.C. Al Baker said the airline plans to expand to Atlanta, Detroit and Boston plus one more U.S. city he declined to name. He also said Qatar would like to be the first airline to bring the Airbus 380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft, to Chicago, but it must convince airport authorities at O’Hare to build a facility that will accommodate its double-deck configuration.

Comments

  1. MUHAMMAD ARSHAAD says

    i read this page and get information about the inauguration Qatar airways from Doha to Chicago. i am very glad to see the progress of Qatar airways because my many colleagues that were doing duty with me in saps at lahore airport now all of them making duty here in Doha airport as ramp supervisor. i desire if the qatar airways will be progress and increase its flights i may get a chance for its services. Qatar airways will be progress by God’s Grace.

    Amin

  2. Thomas says

    Atlanta’s new International Airport has the capacity to handle A380 Jumbo Jets (News: Korean Airlines is starting A380 in August 2013)
    Atlanta being in the top 5-10 cities next to serve, ATL will be a big success. Because ATL is the Southeast’s main hub and there are about 200,000 Indians alone in Atlanta and combining other Indians from 8 states of Southeast United States Region that totals to approx. 800,000 Indians. PLUS take the all other Asians – Total Asians add 1Million + in the Southeast US and there are no direct flights to the Middle east from this region except the Delta from ATL to Dubai and they are running in full capacity.
    The southeast passengers are anxiously waiting for the announcement of a direct flight by Qatar. The real fact is that a lot of Asian travelers from Atlanta area and the neighboring 8 southeast states are transiting daily thru Dallas, Houston, New York & Washington airports.
    Hope Qatar will make the announcement soon for Atlanta!

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