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Qatar Airways Announces Fourth Daily Doha-Dubai Flight

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Qatar Airways Announces Fourth Daily Doha-Dubai Flight

Qatar Airways Announces Fourth Daily Doha-Dubai Flight. The Doha-Dubai route, though relatively short, is a vital connection, warranting multiple daily flights. Qatar Airways recognizes this importance and is set to introduce a fourth daily flight on this route, beginning in November.

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Four Daily Flights

Demand on the Doha-Dubai sector remains consistently high, allowing both flydubai and Qatar Airways to operate numerous daily flights. In any given month, the two cities boast 390 return flights, collectively offering over 92,000 seats.

During the current month, flydubai maintains a slight lead with 198 return flights compared to Qatar Airways’ 192. However, Qatar Airways will soon surpass flydubai in daily flight frequency, deploying an additional service between the two cities, bringing its daily flight count to four, according to data from Cirium.

All-Widebody Capacity

Distinguishing itself from flydubai, Qatar Airways ensures widebody aircraft on the Doha-Dubai route. The airline will utilize eight different types of widebody planes, both Airbus and Boeing, on this sector starting in November:

  • Airbus A330-200
  • Airbus A330-300
  • Airbus A350-900
  • Airbus A350-1000
  • Boeing 777-200LR
  • Boeing 777-300ER
  • Boeing 787-8
  • Boeing 787-9

Changes to Bangkok Summer Schedule

Qatar Airways plans to adjust its summer schedule to Bangkok, reducing its Airbus A380 service to once daily from April 2024. This change contrasts with the current twice-daily flights. The Airbus A380 will continue to operate on other routes, including Doha to London Heathrow, Perth, and Sydney.

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New CEO Transition

In another significant development, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, who served as Qatar Airways’ CEO for 27 years, will step down from his position on November 5th. Al Baker has been with the airline since 1997 and played a crucial role in its growth, overcoming challenges during the pandemic and Airbus A350 dispute.

He will be succeeded by Badr Mohammed Al-Meer, who brings substantial aviation experience as the former Chief Operating Officer of Hamad International Airport since 2014. The future direction of Qatar Airways under Al-Meer’s leadership remains to be seen.

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Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways Plans to Offer Complimentary Starlink Internet Details Yet to Be Disclosed

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Qatar Airways Plans to Offer Complimentary Starlink Internet Details Yet to Be Disclosed

Qatar Airways Plans to Offer Complimentary Starlink Internet Details Yet to Be Disclosed. In a recent development, Qatar Airways, a long-standing user of Inmarsat-now-Viasat Global Xpress (GX) Ka-band satellite-based inflight connectivity service, has indicated its intention to offer SpaceX’s Starlink Aviation onboard Internet to its passengers on a complimentary basis. This offering will be accessible to passengers with a simple “one-click” process.

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Rollout on Specific Aircraft and Routes

According to an official press release from Qatar Airways, the low-latency In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) service will be introduced on “specific aircraft and routes.” The airline has also mentioned that they are currently in the pre-launch phase of the rollout strategy in collaboration with Starlink. SpaceX Vice President of Starlink Commercial Sales, Jonathan Hofeller, has expressed that Starlink is “set to support the entire Qatar Airways fleet.”

This news emerged following the APEX/IFSA Global EXPO event in Long Beach, where Qatar Airways Group’s Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. During this event, Starlink executives met with airline representatives in a nearby hotel.

Changing Landscape in In-Flight Connectivity

The Qatar Airways-Starlink collaboration signifies a shift in the in-flight connectivity landscape. Traditional GEO satellites are being challenged by Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellations like SpaceX’s Starlink. For example, Flexjet has announced plans to replace the Viasat hardware on some of its aircraft with Starlink.

Viasat acquisition of Inmarsat, coupled with these changes, has led to some Inmarsat value-added resellers reevaluating their positions. SITA, a service provider to Qatar Airways, has already disclosed its intention to exit the cabin connectivity market by January 2025.

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Seeking Clarity from Qatar Airways

Runway Girl Network reached out to Qatar Airways to seek clarification on several points. They inquired about:

  • Qatar Airways plan regarding the replacement of Inmarsat (now Viasat) GX inflight connectivity hardware with Starlink.
  • Whether Starlink will be deployed across Qatar Airways’ entire fleet.
  • Commencement dates for supplemental type certifications and Starlink installations.
  • Which aircraft type will be the first to receive the new hardware.
  • The impact of SITA’s decision to cease being a GX value-added reseller on Qatar Airways’ decision to select Starlink.
  • Qatar Airways’ plans for continuing to roll out Inmarsat GX on its 787-9s.

Qatar Airways Response

In response to these queries, a Qatar Airways spokesperson stated via email that they would keep Runway Girl Network updated on any future operational developments. In a follow-up exchange, when further clarity on the deal was sought, the spokesperson requested the removal of a specific phrase from their press release.

Implications and Future Plans

In the absence of comprehensive details, it seems logical for Qatar Airways to consider introducing Starlink initially on its 787-8s. This fleet has seen recent in-seat In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) upgrades but still lacks true broadband connectivity.

Once Starlink is operational on Qatar Airways aircraft, passengers can anticipate complimentary access to ultra-fast Wi-Fi speeds of up up to 350 Mbps, which can be used for various Internet-based services including video streaming, gaming, web browsing, and more. In contrast, the airline presently charges $10 for inflight access to its ‘Super Wi-Fi.

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Read Also: Qatar Airways Elevates In-Flight Connectivity with Starlink Partnership

Conclusion

Qatar Airways, in its press release, also proudly asserts its position as “the largest airline to collaborate with Starlink.” Other notable Starlink customers include Part 135 operator JSX, Hawaiian Airlines (launch delayed until early next year), airBaltic, and ZIPAIR.

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