Qatar Airways is officially back at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) as of June 1st. The Middle Eastern carrier flew an Airbus A350-900 to Atlanta to commemorate the return of the airline’s service to the American city. Simple Flying got an opportunity to celebrate the airline’s return to the airport and the restoration of the airline’s full US network.
Qatar Airways is back in Atlanta
Qatar Airways returned to Atlanta after over a year of suspending service due to the global health crisis. With QR755’s arrival in Atlanta on Tuesday, June 1st, the airline restored service to all of its pre-pandemic destinations in the United States, and then some.
The Airbus A350-900 was greeted with a water cannon salute. The flights, slated to operate four times per week to start, departed Doha at 08:10 and is scheduled to arrive in ATL at 16:15 (all times are local).
The return flight, QR756, departs Atlanta at 19:55 local time and arrives at Doha’s Hamad International Airport (DOH) at 16:35 the next day.
A welcome return for the airline
The return of nonstop service from Atlanta to Doha marks the continuing strength of the global aviation recovery. Qatar Airways, which has continued to fly hefty schedules throughout the crisis, is showing its commitment to the United States with a return to Atlanta.
The airline has marked five years of service to Atlanta. As the inaugural flight departed from ATL, Qatar Airways’ Senior Vice President of the Americas, Eric Odone, surprised some lucky travelers with an upgrade to QSuite – the airline’s top-notch, lie-flat, suite-style business class product.
There was also a celebration with cake and cookies to commemorate the airline’s return to Atlanta. However, Qatar Airways continued to focus on passenger health and safety, requiring everyone to wear a mask and devoting time on the ground to disinfecting the aircraft with the latest technology.
Why Atlanta is significant
Qatar Airways is the only airline flying nonstop between Atlanta and Doha. From Doha, passengers can connect onwards to a variety of destinations in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. For passengers heading to or from Atlanta, this means more options to get where you need to go – especially as the world starts to reopen.
Atlanta was the last US gateway that Qatar Airways reinstated service to. The airline has already come back to markets like Boston, Miami, New York, and it even added two new cities to its network: San Francisco and Seattle. With the airline back in Atlanta, this is a welcome sign of the airline’s confidence in the continued global recovery and returning demand for international travel.
Atlanta is also home to Delta Air Lines, which has expressed some animosity towards Qatar Airways in the past. With the return to Atlanta, Qatar Airways is also showing it is not afraid of competition and believes it can still perform well in the face of the traditional headwinds of flying into a massive airline fortress hub.
While business traffic remains down, there are leisure travelers looking to go on vacation or visit their family and loved ones they haven’t seen since the start of the pandemic. Qatar Airways is willing to fly them there. Now, passengers can fly the airline nonstop to Doha out of Atlanta.
Are you glad to see Qatar Airways come back to Atlanta? Let us know in the comments!