Qatar flights from Edinburgh start today – redeemable on Avios, lower tax than BA

Qatar Airways launches its service between Edinburgh and Doha at 2.45 this afternoon, when QR28 takes off via a new Boeing 787.

They will fly five times per week and this will be the first service from Edinburgh to any Middle Eastern destination.

I wrote a few pieces last year about Qatar Airways joining British Airways in the oneworld alliance, eg here and here. If you live within reach of Edinburgh, this gives you a very interesting new option for spending your Avios points, especially as Qatar Airways has an impressive reputation and a growing route network.

The use of a Boeing 787 on this route means that it will feature their impressive new business class seating as pictured below:

Qatar 787 business class seat

Avios redemption seats are bookable at A return from Edinburgh to Doha in business class costs 80,000 Avios plus £337 – £175 cheaper than taking a BA flight with a change in Heathrow.  Qatar appears to be releasing 4 business class seats per flight.

In Economy, you are looking at 40,000 Avios return plus £232  – a saving of £163 and a few hours of your life over taking a BA connecting flight at £395.

There are also some special sale deals for cash available to launch the route.  You will earn Avios and British Airways tier points on these flights.

Travellers on the Edinburgh flight today will be among the first to see the new Hamad International Airport in Doha, which finally opened yesterday after long delays.  I will write about this separately in a day or so.

PS.  If you are planning to fly to Doha from London, it is worth noting that ex-Heathrow redemptions are also a lot cheaper on Qatar than on British Airways.  The tax on a direct BA Club World flight to Doha is £510 return, whilst a Qatar flight is £369 return. Unless you are using a 2-4-1 voucher from your BA Amex, Qatar is the way to go.  You can even try their ‘business only’ late night A319 flight although initial feedback on that has not been too positive.

(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to see our latest articles on earning and spending your points and click here to see our list of current Avios promotions.)

£5 Marks & Spencer voucher if you still haven't joined TopCashback!
Reminder: New list of IHG PointBreaks hotels at 5,000 points per night now bookable
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.


  1. Snorkie says:

    I don’t think it will be a QF flight number on a QR service.

  2. Erico1875 says:

    How many Avios will BOM or GOI be?

    • You need to use the online BA calculator to price the 2nd leg, or do a dummy booking and see. Avios price by segment so it will be 40k economy / 80k business to Doha plus the cost of the connection.

      • Erico1875 says:

        Ok. Did that. DOH to BOM is an extra 40K Avios + £165 in taxes.

        So that makes Edinburgh to DOH toBOM 120K Avios + £337+ £165 With Qatar Business (£502}
        BA are 100K Avios + £609. EDI to LHR to DOH
        I think in my case , i would, if I have the choice, pay the extra £107 and save 20K Avios

        Personally , having only flown economy with QATAR before, I really didn’t rate them. I found their crew quite off hand. BA crew have always been excellent as have Emirates.

  3. andy stock says:

    I guess they are using the new BA lounge at EDI?

    • I’d assume so via oneworld access rules, there will also be the upgraded Servisair (Aspire) lounge and the new No.1 Traveller lounge soon if travellers want to use their Priority Pass/Airport Angel. Off topic, over at GLA Emirates are finally putting in their own EK lounge, and then there is rumour that Etihad will start flying from GLA next year also.

      With all these oneworld airlines flying out of the UK it would be good to see BA reduce their taxes/fees to similar levels, but if they dont need to then why would they.

      • No 1 Traveller is now open at EDI. I missed it last week as I thought it wasn’t open yet (only saw on my way to the gate), but hopefully will have a chance to try it out on Friday.

  4. oyster says:

    Do they have F out of London? And if so are the taxes/fees the same as business class?

  5. Jordan D says:

    Minor correction: it is a A319(LR) service out of LHR, not a A318 on QR.

    • Duly corrected!

      • Jason says:

        Any reason why initial feedback isn’t positive?

        • Meal service took a long time so lights stayed on for too long, if you have an aisle seat you have someone climbing over you (and in a window you must climb over someone else). This is not my personal view, note, just reporting.

          There is a long-haul 25 minutes earlier and I think people are struggling to find a reason not to take that instead.

        • Jason says:

          Does anyone know if business, on Qatar, is better on the A330 than the A319?
          The 319 time suits us better, but would take the later flight if it is a nicer service on the A330.

  6. DMRevis says:

    I have just booked to SIN in September with Qatar from LHR, returning to EDI as I live in Orkney. One of the main reasons was 3 out of 4 flights will be new Dreamliners. The return to EDI is a big plus point too for me. I’m looking forward to the flights as QR has a good reputation. A little disapointed I only get 25% Avios though but as this was a cash ticket in Economy the avios are just a bonus. Middle-East airlines continue to impress me. I was able to select my seats (something BA charge upwards of £25/sector) for free and there was no credit card charges. BA/Virgin take note.

  7. ba fllyer says:

    On the topic of taxes – is this a known fact that when booking a return redemption ticket on BA, taxes are higher than when booking two one way tickets on the same dates and in the same cabin?

    For instance, JFK-LHR-EWR is 80000 Avios + £ 709.51. However, JFK-LHR is 40000 Avios + £ 260.40, and LHR-EWR is 40000 Avios + £ 362.81. So, the taxes for 2 one way bookings are £ 622 (vs £ 710 when booking a return).

    • This is because BA charges YQ based on the country of origin, and the USA is higher than UK.

      If you booked LHR-JFK-LHR it is cheaper to book as a return rather than two one-ways.

      • Jonny says:

        Agreed, I have found the opposite – i.e. cheaper taxes booking a return than 2 x one-way (both to NYC and west coast)

  8. Angela says:

    I’m already booked reurn to Singapore next February really looking forward to it only downside is that can’t use 241 voucher but really only fly BA due to 241 and points would never spend my own money on them as there are plenty of better alternatives

  9. wobbly wings says:

    Thanks for highlighting this Raffles, much appreciated.

    On another note, I am sorry to be a pain, but why don’t we call “taxes” what they are and refer to them as “BA charges” or “co-pay”?

    Yes, a component is APD and other bits go to the airport operator but the fuel surcharges – ridiculously as they are – are the biggest element of the co-pay that BA demands for their “free tickets”.

    I know Raffles is sympathetic to the issue that fuel surcharges are ridiculous when oil/fuel prices are effectively the same quarter after quarter.

    I suggest we refer to them for what they are.

    Once again, sorry for the pedantic post.

    • You’re right. I would write taxes and charges but it gets long winded after a while.

      Do not want to use terms like co-pay when BA does not use them itself.

      • wobbly wings says:

        Thanks for the response. That’s true. If push comes to shove, given that the charges are higher than the taxes for most resumptions (other than RFS/ET) maybe charges is preferable to taxes as it more accurately reflect what the cash component covers.

        Just a suggestion…I love the blog. Thanks for doing this.

  10. Col A-B says:

    Surely another negative about the BA flight (other than the higher taxes) especially if not originating at LHR is that their flight is via BAH, not non-stop.

  11. QR have now delayed the A380 launch on the Heathrow route from June 17 to July 1st.

  12. Brian says:

    Off-topic, but I noticed that BA is currently offering sale Club World prices, at least ex-Europe. I found Paris-New York return for less than €1500.