Qatar Airways’ Temporary Aircraft Swaps On US Routes

Filed Under: Qatar

Lately we’ve seen Qatar Airways make quite a few operational changes, which is probably largely caused by the Gulf blockade. With many of their short-haul planes grounded (since they can’t fly to neighboring countries), they’re shuffling around some of the planes that operate certain US routes.

If you’re flying Qatar Airways to/from the US in the next couple of months, the airline has announced some aircraft swaps on a few routes, most of which are quite positive. Per @airlineroute, between October 1 and 31, 2017, Qatar Airways will fly:

  • The 787-8 between Doha and Boston, rather than the A350-900
  • The A350-900 between Doha and Dallas, rather than the 777-300ER
  • The A350-900 between Doha and Miami, rather than the 777-300ER

About a month ago I wrote about how Qatar Airways was flying the A350 to Miami for the month of September, so it looks like that’s simply being extended by a month. I wouldn’t be surprised to see any of the above aircraft changes extended as well.

The upgrades on the Dallas and Miami routes are no doubt positive. Qatar’s 777-300ERs feature their outdated fully flat seats.

Meanwhile their A350s and 787s feature reverse herringbone seats, with direct aisle access from every seat. The planes also have Wi-Fi. That’s a much better product.

As far as the swap from the A350 to the 787 on the Boston route goes, I’d say that’s slightly negative, though not much. The planes have the same business class seats, though I personally prefer the A350 to the 787, due to the fact that the plane has window shades and a cool tail camera.

It would be nice if Qatar Airways were taking these 777-300ERs out of service in order to install Qsuites on them. However, I suspect that’s not the motivation here, because for now Qatar Airways is only introducing Qsuites on newly delivered planes. I suspect they just have better use for the bigger 777s elsewhere for the time being.

Regardless, this represents a nice temporary upgrade for two US destinations. This is also the first time that Qatar Airways will operate scheduled 787 service to the US.

Will anyone benefit from these Qatar Airways plane swaps?

  1. @DT
    I’d assume they have to use longhaul aircraft for short medium haul flights since they have to go around a chunk of land they can’t fly over. Or maybe it’s not that the short haul fleet is limited, but they’re increasing capacity and decreasing the number of flights a day to cut the fuel expenses. But these are only speculations and there might be other reasons.

  2. The A350s are nearly the same size as the 77w’s but are lighter and more efficient which could factor into this. I’m sure they are hurting with the blockade. The shorter routes with a the 77w’s would be more cost effective I’d think. I don’t know for fact but I assume the 787 is also cheaper to operate than the A350 as well.

  3. They’re swapping double daily 787 to Hong Kong to double 777-300ER Downgrading both flights to HKG is not cool

  4. @DaninMCI- have you ever seen either plane they are not very close to the same size. Qatar’s 777 average about 350 total seats when averaging variants(some over 400), where as a350s only carry a max of 280. Max takeoff weight of 777-300er is 150,000 pounds more that’s a huge cargo increase. The a350 is 3-3-3 vs 3-4-3 on the 777-300er. Not disagreeing it is likely more cost effective to run the a350, but they are not in the same category.

  5. Hoping a delay in whatever is driving this decision leads to the aircraft swap sticking around through mid Nov on the DFW route!

  6. Perhaps reducing capacity out of the US due to less onward travel within the region, caused by the blockade. QR 777 about 400 pax vs. QR 787 about 280 pax.

  7. Ben, any thoughts on Etihad 772 Biz vs this Qatar A359 Biz? We are booked on EY right now DFW-AUH, but could switch to Qatar since our plans are next month.

  8. Heck yes! I am flying home on Qatar DOH-DFW on Oct 23. This is perfect. Almost 16 hours in the A350. This will be our first time flying on an A350 and only 2dn time in business class ever. What a treat

  9. I’LL BENIFIT!! I’m flying them in November from Dallas to Doha in Business class. Now I can compare the two products as i flew the 777 to Dallas.

  10. @Curtis – Don’t bother with EY. Seat is uncomfortable even the new business studio looks good but is also to hard, catering is terrible. It’s worth switching to QR – Superior seat and catering.

  11. I feel like a weirdo saying this but i’ve flown QR extensively and I actually prefer the older J seats on the 777’s to the newer ones on the 787/380/350. Admittedly there is no direct aisle access and little privacy on the 777. But I always seem to sleep better on these seats. I put it down to the greater sense of open space on the 777 and the fact that the seats are just flat – i can turn from side to side and my feet do not have to go in some cubby hole underneath the fixed TV and table which I always find a little claustrophobic.

  12. @ Lucky–any updates yet on when they’ll begin service from San Francisco and what type of aircraft they plan to use?

    Also, when is the cutoff to redeem AAdvantage miles for flights on Qatar Airways?

  13. @Duck Ling

    You’re not I absolutely agree with you. It’s great to have that generous amount of space on a plane- not too common nowadays.

  14. I prefer the older version of 777 seats.
    Compare to reverse herringbone seats on their A350 or 787, it was very cramped, I feel like I sleep in a coffin.
    QR reverse herringbone seats are not the same type as you can find on Cathay for example.
    My knees was keep hitting the tray table underneath the IFE screen of QR herringbone seats on their A350 and 787.
    I had the best sleep on US route whenver traveling on their older version of 777 seats.

  15. Qatar appears to be doing a lot of aircraft swapping. On an upcoming October J-journey from BRU to NRT, the two aircraft originally allocated were A350 (BRU-DOH-BRU), and B777-200ER (DOH-NRT-DOH).
    In the past couple of days my BRU-DOH outbound has been swapped for a A330 (not lie-flat, ugh), and the return NRT-DOH is now a 777-300ER.

    @Duck Ling: A colleague of mine flew ARN-AKL recently and said they much preferred the 777-200ER to the herringbone seats because of the space and sleeping comfort. You are not alone in that opinion.

    I’m quite looking forward to travelling on the four QR aircraft types, and experiencing them first-hand.

  16. The Business Class Hard-product of the QR 777 is not that bad, in my opinion. Yes, there’s no Wifi. Ok. But 2-2-2 in a 777 is extraordinary for Business Class (Emirates sells middle seats in 777), giving seats with a perfect width. The distance to fellow passengers is far better than in QR 787, as the pitch is enormous. If you opt for a center seat, you can have direct aisle access.

  17. Just flew the A-330 and A-380 (so the older fully flat product and the 2nd newest one, pre-Q Suite if I’m not mistaken), with my fiancee. Our leg back is on the A-350. I’ve never flown the 777, but from the pics and the comments other readers have posted, these seats seem far better for couples.

  18. @Varun Susarla Thanks for the input. We went ahead and switched despite the $150 + $25 change fee for going from Non-One World to One World. I had forgotten about that. We are in Doha for 5hrs now instead of AUH for only 1.25 though, and the Al Mourjan lounge in DOH looks great.

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