It seems that Qatar Airways is preparing to launch a new service between London and Doha. Whilst this normally isn’t exciting in any way, the equipment that has been rostered is… and it’s an Airbus A319LR (Long Range).
In it, it will contain 40 Business Class Seats, reconfigured into a 2-2 configuration.
The timetable looks like this:
QR015 DEPART DOH 14:50 ARRIVE LHR 20:25 QR016 DEPART LHR 21:55 ARRIVE DOH 06:40+1 Commences 15th May 2014 Operates Daily Booked Equipment Airbus A319-LR (Business Class 40 Seat configuration)
Pictures of the new cabin have also been released:
Images – Qatar Airways
Seats will feature the Oyrx In Flight Entertainment system, as well as online connectivity via 2G, SMS and EDGE devices
In effect, this will be a 6x daily service between London and Doha with a business class cabin available (and 5x Daily with other cabins). The mix includes:
- Airbus A340-600s x 1 a day
- Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner x 1 a day
- Airbus A330-200s x 2 a day
- Boeing 777-300ER x 1 a day
Timings are aimed at a full day of business in London or a half day in Doha, rather than for connecting to long haul destinations, but should provide some connectivity beyond Qatar.
Business Class only flights are not a new concept – airlines have had varying degrees of success with them (SilverJet, MaxJet and EOS fell to the wayside, Hong Kong Airlines Hong Kong to London all business fell flat, OpenSkies was all business before going to a three-class setup, British Airways operating a 32 twice daily flight between London City and New York – bankrolled by Canary Wharf businesses)
It’ll be interesting to see if this business type shuttle takes off – or if this is a slot sitting exercise. Bear in mind that Qatar Airways are due to receive Airbus A380s in the near future. If there’s one airport in the world that is slot constrained, and built for the A380… it’s Heathrow…