Qatar Airways is back with some more great business class fares out of Europe (and Scotland!).
These deals represent exceptional value for business class travel, especially as Qatar Airways has an excellent reputation for the quality of its seats, food and service.
£775 to the Middle East is certainly good although admittedly diverting via Europe is hassle for a short route. The upside is that, as your Doha to Dubai / Abu Dhabi / Bahrain connection books into First, you should be able to access the new Qatar First Class lounge on the outbound.
£860 to Bangkok or Singapore is fantastic value, as is £816 to the Maldives over peak season. £1,500 to Australia is laughably good value.
Remember that Qatar Airways flights earn Avios and British Airways tier points if you add your BA Executive Club number. Most of the Asian routes below will generate 560 tier points return (140 x 4)! The Middle Eastern routes, assuming you connect to Dubai or Abu Dhabi, would earn (140 + 60 x 2) 400 tier points return as the ‘domestic’ sectors book into First Class.
As with recent sales, Qatar is discounting heavily from selected cities in Europe.
The best deals appear to be out of Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm at the moment. This is not surprising – Qatar has to fill TWO Boeing 787 aircraft from Copenhagen almost every day in Business Class. Scandinavian cities are competing against the cheap long-haul pricing offered by Norwegian.no. Amsterdam is also a small country with big planes to fill.
If you have a particular route in mind, you should also try out other starting points. Brussels has had some good deals in the past, for example.
Here are the fare rules for the current offers:
Book by November 6th
Travel between January 15th and June 30th 2016
Minimum stay 7 days, maximum stay 1 month
Here are some sample prices – remember that these tickets start in Amsterdam (full list here):
Bangkok – €1,310 (£935)
Ho Chi Minh City – €1,875 (£1,339)
Hong Kong – €1,680 (£1,200)
Kuala Lumpur – €1,865 (£1,335)
Perth – €2,390 (£1,707)
Phuket – €1,490 (£1,064)
Singapore – €2,155 (£1,539)
Tokyo – €1,875 (£1,339)
Here are some prices from Copenhagen taken from this list:
Abu Dhabi – DKK 9,995 (£957)
Bahrain – DKK 8,745 (£837)
Bangkok – DKK 10,445 (£1,000)
Colombo – DKK 14,045 (£1,345)
Delhi – DKK 8,845 (£847)
Dubai – DKK 8,095 (£775)
Hong Kong – DKK 11,145 (£1,067)
Kuala Lumpur – DKK 14,045 (£1,345)
Maldives – DKK 14,045 (£1,345)
Melbourne – DKK 16,545 (£1,584)
Perth – DKK 16,495 (£1,579)
Phuket – DKK 12,145 (£1,163)
Singapore – DKK 11,845 (£1,134)
Here are some prices from Stockholm taken from this list:
Bangkok – SEK 11,295 (£858)
Delhi – SEK 12,295 (£934)
Dubai – SEK 10,695 (£812)
Hong Kong – SEK 10,395 (£790)
Kuala Lumpur – SEK 16,395 (£1,246)
Melbourne – SEK 20,445 (£1,553)
Perth – SEK 20,395 (£1,550)
Phuket – SEK 12,745 (£968)
Singapore – SEK 12,195 (£926)
Tokyo – SEK 16,795 (£1,276)
Here are some prices from Oslo taken from this list:
Abu Dhabi – NOK 12,645 (£965)
Bangkok – NOK 11,945 (£912)
Delhi – NOK 9,845 (£751)
Dubai – NOK 10,795 (£824)
Kuala Lumpur – NOK 14,845 (£1,133)
Maldives – NOK 10,695 (£816)
Melbourne – NOK 19,795 (£1,511)
Perth – NOK 19,795 (£1,511)
Singapore – NOK 11,345 (£866)
Finally, there are a couple of deals from Edinburgh. Dubai is £1,150 if you fly to the new airport or £1,250 to the main airport. Other routes are around £1,800+. Weirdly, Manchester to Dubai is £1,860 so you save £610 by heading to Edinburgh first!
When booking with Qatar Airways, it is important to NOT just look at the headline price. It is also important to get the right aircraft. You want to be booking onto a Boeing 787 featuring the latest impressive 1-2-1 business class seating which I reviewed here. The A380 and A350 aircraft have the same seating.
The Boeing 777 seating I reviewed here is fully lie flat but is in a more traditional configuration. The A330 aircraft have recently been converted into flat seats although I am not sure that they are like. The final A340 aircraft are due to be fully flat by February according to the comments below.
The good news is that Copenhagen, Oslo, Amsterdam and Stockholm are usually operated by Boeing 787 aircraft so you should get the newest business class product.
Apart from Oslo, which is further and uglier (!), all of these departure points are easy to reach from the UK and a pleasant place to stay for the night if a stopover is required. I would have a serious look at these deals for your long-haul travel plans over the next six months. Have a play around at qatarairways.com and see what you can find.
You should also do the maths and consider whether it is worth cancelling any Avios redemptions in order to rebook on a Qatar cash ticket.
The list of Copenhagen deals is here, the list of Stockholm deals is here, the Amsterdam deals are here and the Oslo deals are here. Other destinations apart from those listed may well be available at sale prices if you search.