In the ‘I didn’t see that coming’ stakes, Qatar Airways announcement this week of an ‘all business class’ service from Doha to Heathrow scores pretty highly.
Using a newly acquired sixth daily slot at Heathrow, the service will launch on May 14th. It will use an Airbus A319 with a similar layout to the one British Airways uses on its London City to New York JFK flights.
It will offer an overnight service to Doha, leaving Heathrow at 21.55 and arriving at 06.40. The return leaves Doha at 14.50, arriving in London at 20.25. With only one plane available in this configuration, it remains to be seen what happens when there are technical issues, especially as the 21.55 is the last Qatar service of the day.
Seating will be in a 2 x 2 formation, with just 40 seats on the plane. Qatar released these mock-up images:
Whilst the seating looks tight, Qatar Airways says that the seats will be fully flat and that the planes will be wi-fi equipped.
My gut feeling would have been that Qatar Airways would not release Avios seats on this route because they need to fill it with paying passengers to make it work. However, the seats are there. At the time of writing, for example, there are 4 seats available on the Heathrow to Doha service on 2nd June – 10% of the plane! In fact, there seem to be 4 seats available on most days.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.