Qatar Airways is to launch a daily all-premium business class service between Doha and London Heathrow from May 15.
The work-friendly schedules see flights departing Doha at 1450 and arriving in London at 2025 (QR015) and the return flight will depart 2155 and arrive in Doha 0640 the next day.
The new service will be the first of its kind in the Middle East, utilising a single-aisle Airbus A319 aircraft with 40 seats in a 2–2 seat configuration.
Qatar Airways currently operates five daily flights to London Heathrow and the additional flight will step up frequency on the route to 42 weekly services.
In line with its business class on other models, seats will recline into fully flat beds and Oryx entertainment system will be available along with SMS mobile texting GSM and GPRS services.
Premium passengers can access the premium lounge in London Heathrow’s terminal four, and Premium Terminal in Doha.
Clearly the airline sees demand for a purely business product, and it may prove to be a smart way to differentiate itself from Emirates and Etihad, who also fly extensively to London, by providing a personalised service on a smaller aircraft.
History shows all-business flights aren’t always viable, with Silverjet and Eos among the operators to have tried and failed, although Qatar’s large fleet, global network and commercial muscle means it stands a good chance of success.