By Courtney Trenwith
Gulf carrier will be first international airline to launch east coast city route in 10 years
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).
With QR joining oneworld by September, wouldnt it make more sense to codeshare with BA to PHL for a year or two to help build up QR's brand awareness in and around Philadelphia, before flying with its own metal?
Before United started flights with their own planes into Kuwait and Dubai, they codeshared with Lufthansa for a few years. Once they got brand recognition and, consequently, sales increased, they then launched direct flights from DC; that is the cost-effective strategy.
But then again, Qatar Airways is government, what do they care with costs, effectiveness or even strategy!
@RAH...quite rightly pointed out. Just like the rest of the entities even "Cutter" Airways is bankrolled by the state. No regard for labour unions; only for predatory expansion. I mean if the rest of world had such deep pockets, we could all be using our national carriers as well as our state television networks as "FOREIGN POLICY tools" and use them as bargaining element with the rest of the world...