The Qatar - United Arab Emirates flights will be the first scheduled nonstop routes since mid-2017. Additionally, Qatar’s flag-carrier has signed an expanded codeshare deal with Iberia.
Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways are poised to reinstate routes that have been suspended for more than three-and-a-half years. The resumption comes after Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ended their blockade of Qatar, which had been in place since June 2017 after the countries alleged Qatar had terrorism links—something Qatar vigorously denied.
According to Qatar Airways’ booking system, the Oneworld alliance member intends to return to the UAE from Jan. 27 with nonstop flights from Doha (DOH) to Dubai International (DXB). Service to Abu Dhabi (AUH) will begin a day later. The DOH-DXB route appears to be double-daily from Jan. 28, with flights departing DOH at 1 a.m. and 7 p.m.
The Doha - Abu Dhabi service will be 1X-daily, Qatar Airways’ booking system shows, with departure times from Doha varying between 7.50 p.m. and 2.15 a.m., depending on the day of departure.
New codeshare agreement with Iberia
As well as confirming plans to resume flights to the UAE, Qatar Airways has this week signed an expanded codeshare agreement with fellow oneworld alliance member Iberia. The deal will allow Qatar Airways passengers to book travel to and from 40 destinations on Iberia’s network, including new routes in Brazil, Chile, El Salvador and Guatemala. Iberia passengers will benefit from access to 36 routes on Qatar Airways’ network.
“This expansion of our strategic partnership with Iberia further strengthens connectivity between the hubs of Doha and Madrid ensuring more flexible travel options for our customers,” Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said.
Meanwhile, Etihad expects to return to Qatar from Feb. 15. The Abu Dhabi - Doha route will be served daily using a mix of A320 and Boeing 787-9 equipment. Etihad last flew to last flew to Doha on June 25, 2017. Prior to the blockade of Qatar, the carrier offered 30 weekly services from Abu Dhabi.