Monday, February 15, 2010

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways will be shortly officially announcing the launch of new nonstop flights to South America namely São Paulo and Buenos Aires. The flight will be launched on 30th May and shall be operated daily using a Boeing 777-200LR with the routing being DOH-GRU-EZE. QR will also enjoy 5th freedom traffic rights on the GRU-EZE-GRU sector. The flight schedule is as follows:

Days of operation: DAILY

QR921 DOH 0800 Arr GRU 1700 /// QR 921 Dep GRU 1840 Arr EZE 2130

QR 922 Dep EZE 0035 Arr GRU 0325 /// QR 922 Dep GRU 0440 Arr DOH 0040+1

Qatar Airways has officially confirmed that it will be increasing its flights to Dhaka, Bangladesh from March 28th onwards. Currently, it operats a daily service using a mixture of A 333s and A 332s, however this shall be increased to 11 times per week using a 2 class configured A 332 for all of the flights. The additional 4 weekly flights allow for the first time Dhaka to be connected via DOH to all USA and European destinations in both directions which shall definitely help increase loads to JFK and IAH in particular.


Its quite evident that QR want to get into EZE before EK does which is good. However realistically speaking, does anyone really think that QR has even a remote chance of making money flying this route or let alone break even? The answer to that question is no! These 2 B 777-200LRs would be better served flying daily DOH-ORD-DOH rather than to Latin America just because of the logic that EK flies there hence QR must follow suit! Apart from this, the focus should also be to get ADD online due to the huge O&D market that exists between DOH and ADD along with the 6th freedom traffic potential bound to IAD, UK, ATH, India, China and BKK in particular. A daily A 320 between DOH and ADD would be ideal to serve the needs of this market segment initially.

As one can make out from the flight schedule, the main target market is Far East Asia passengers via DOH and a little bit of GCC bound traffic as well. From Brazil to Far East, QR will face stiff competition from EK/AC/LH/AF/TK/SAA/BA/KL which will further dilute yields and market share of every one. FYI, QR's B 77Ls seat 259 in a 2 class (J/Y) configuration i.e. 42J + 217Y.

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