Qatar Airways adds San Francisco flight

The US city is a new destination for the Doha-based airline, showing its ability to expand beyond its pre-pandemic network.

al-monitor An Airbus airplane of Qatar Airways takes off at the International Airport in Vienna, Austria, on a windy Feb. 28, 2020.  Photo by JOE KLAMAR/AFP via Getty Images.

Oct 8, 2020

Qatar Airways is adding San Francisco to its network in December, the Gulf carrier announced on Wednesday. The West Coast US city is a new destination for Qatar Airways. The addition shows the airline is capable of expanding beyond its pre-pandemic network, even as the coronavirus continues to spread.

Qatar Airways will operate four weekly flights between its hub in Doha and San Francisco starting Dec. 15, the airline said in a press release. The city is attractive to Qatar Airways because of its importance in technology, the airline’s chief executive said.

“As the gateway to Silicon Valley and the vibrant tech economy, the San Francisco Bay Area is a globally important destination, both from a business and leisure perspective,” said Akbar Al Baker.

San Francisco is a new destination for Qatar Airways. The airline will be the first in the Gulf to offer direct flights to the northern Californian city. Turkish Airlines also offers a direct flight between San Francisco and Istanbul.

Qatar Airways is unique among Middle Eastern airlines because it never stopped regularly scheduled passenger flights during the COVID-19 crisis. The airline did stop certain routes but has been resuming them throughout the year. This week, Qatar Airways announced the resumption of flights to South Africa.

Qatar Airways currently offers regular flights to around 90 destinations. Before the pandemic, this figure was around 160. At the start of the crisis, Qatar Airways was down to around 30 flight routes. Like other regional airlines, Qatar Airways has suffered financially with the downturn in global travel.

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