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:
Avios redemption seats are bookable at ba.com. 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.