I guess it was just about time that someone would try this again – this time it's Qatar:
For it's next trick, Qatar Airways is attempting to make work what most – but not all – have failed at: all premium services. Qatar on 14-May-2014 commenced a daily A319 link between Doha and London Heathrow with only 40 business class seats. This is focused on local traffic given limited connecting options – a change from its usual focus.
The smaller size of London-Doha compared to Dubai, which more carriers serve, is a tick in Qatar's favour, as is its reputation and premium positioning. But unknowns remain. Is success based solely on profits? And where does Qatar's dear friend British Airways sit with the service?
Unlike Hong Kong Airlines or most of the failed transatlantic all-premium attempts, Qatar Airways is already an established airline on the route and will be using a smaller aircraft with only 40 seats, not 100-plus. Qatar's configuration is slightly less than the 48 seats that Eos used on a substantially larger aircraft, the 757-200. Qatar's long-range A319s can serve the relatively short distance between Doha and London. Hong Kong-London for example is a larger premium market than Doha-London, but only a wide-body can operate the Hong Kong-London route non-stop. It is no coincidence (but not the sole reason) that the British Airways London City-New York JFK flight uses 32-seat A318s.
Very interesting analysis by centreforaviation.com.
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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]
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