Qatar Airways is set to become the first international airline to launch flights to the US city of Philadelphia in 10 years.
The east coast city will be the Gulf national carrier’s fifth US destination and is being viewed as a strategic move ahead of the expected merger between US Airways and American Airlines.
Philadelphia is a major hub for US Airways, which already has a code-share agreement with Qatar, while American Airlines is a member of the Oneworld alliance, which Qatar Airways will join in September.
The Philadelphia flights will begin in March, 2014, using a Boeing 777, the airline said in its announcement on Twitter.
Qatar Airways also started flying to Chicago last month, and also serves Houston, New York and Washington.
It will use a Boeing 777 for the Philadelphia flight, the airline said in its Twitter announcement.
Qatar Airways is planning to significantly expand its international network, already announcing several new flights this year, including Salalah, Oman (May 22); Basra, Iraq (June 3); Sulaymaniyah, Iraq (August 20); Chengdu, China (September 3); and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (date yet to be announced).