DOHA: Qatar Airways’ inaugural flight to Philadelphia touched down at Philadelphia International Airport yesterday morning, marking its fifth gateway to the US, a press statement said yesterday.
With the launch of the daily service between Philadelphia and QA’ hub in Doha, the city becomes the 137th destination in the airline’s expanding worldwide network.
QA operates 35 passenger flights a week between the US and Doha – daily from New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia.
Flight QR727 arrived to a warm welcome during a ceremony attended by dignitaries, including QA CEO, Akbar Al Baker, Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael A Nutter, and CEO of Philadelphia International Airport, Mark Gale.
According to the daily flight schedule, QA aircraft QR727 will depart from Doha at 01:05 hours to arrive in Philadelphia at 0755 hours, and QR728 will depart from Philadelphia at 10:30 hours to arrive Doha at 06:10 hours the following day.
The route is being operated with a Boeing 777-300ER in a two-class configuration of up to 293 seats in Economy Class and up to 42 in Business.
The flight to Philadelphia carried international media and airline management, including Al Baker. The route offers a connection between Philadelphia and several destinations across the Middle East, Africa, India and Asia Pacific via Doha, while the morning departure time from Philadelphia offers US passengers a unique opportunity to access an entirely new schedule of connecting flights out of Doha.
Al Baker and Philadelphia airport authorities delivered speeches to mark the occasion, noting the economic impact of QA’ arrival in the city.
“I would like to take this special opportunity to thank the people of Philadelphia and local airport authorities for their support in helping QA launch passenger flights to this vibrant city,” said Al Baker.
“Today, Philadelphia joins our North American hubs: Chicago, New York, Washington DC, Houston and Montreal.
“But only our newest gateway offers a unique, morning route to Doha, our earliest departure from North America, and provides passengers with unprecedented access to a new schedule of convenient connections to our entire global network.”
Philadelphia is a key destination for business and leisure travellers. One of the world’s busiest airports, it sees 30.5 million passengers a year.
“Our five-star service begins by forging a connection with the communities we serve and we appreciate the opportunity to work together with this great city,” Al Baker said.
QA is to launch services on new routes, including Larnaca, Cyprus (April 29), Sabiha Gökçen Airport, Turkey (May 22), Edinburgh, Scotland (May 28), Miami, the US (June 10), Haneda, Japan (June 18), Dallas/Fort Worth, the US (July 1) and Djibouti (July 27).