What Are Qatar Airways’ Top Routes This Year?

Qatar Airways is the world’s 10th-largest international airline this year when measured in flights, rising to seventh if only full-service airlines are examined. It is one place ahead of Delta and three in front of Emirates, its widebody-only mega competitor.

Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER
There are more flights by the B777-300ER than any other type. Photo: Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways: a summary

Qatar Airways has almost 119,000 flights this year, according to data experts OAG, about 63% of the volume it had in 2019. Widebodies have nearly eight in ten flights (77%), a huge proportion. They’re led by the B777-300ER, which has more flights than any other type. Notice the return of the A380, which is set to fly to London Heathrow and Paris from December 15th.

  • B777-300ER: 30,009 flights in 2021
  • B787-8: 24,912
  • A320: 24,362
  • A350-900: 18,497
  • A350-1000: 10,373
  • B777-200LR: 3,429
  • B787-9: 2,844
  • A321: 2,515
  • A330-300: 1,355
  • A330-200: 420
  • A380: 102
  • A319: 55

The heavy concentration of dual-aisle aircraft accounts for Qatar Airways’ high seats per flight of 270. Since the pandemic struck, widebodies have increased in use, proportionally speaking, up from 71% in 2019. They’ve offset lower frequencies due to entry restrictions and cargo-carrying capability. However, with 23% of flights, Airbus narrowbodies remain important.

Qatar Airways to Almaty
Narrowbodies enable flexibility, the ability to right-size capacity to demand, and the ability to build up a thinner route. They’re used to Central/Eastern Europe (CEE) and parts of Africa and Asia, including the recently inaugurated new route to Almaty, Kazakstan, pictured here. Photo: Qatar Airways.

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162 routes from Doha this year

Examining Qatar Airways’ Doha hub reveals that 162 routes are (or have been) operated this year. With around one-fifth of the total flights, Western Europe is the airline’s main region, followed by the Middle East, South Asia, North America, and Southeast Asia.

While most regions, including Western Europe, remain down by over half, others have pushed ahead. Africa and North America particularly stand out. Thanks to Abidjan, Abuja, Accra, and Luanda all added, Africa has 6% more flights than in 2019. North America, meanwhile, is up by 22%, the result of adding San Francisco and Seattle and growing capacity to Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Montreal, and New York JFK.

Qatar Airways A350 LAX
This year, the airline’s leading countries by flights are the US, India, Iraq, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

Qatar Airways’ top-15 routes

Perhaps surprisingly, the 2,055-mile (3,307km) link from Doha to Malé, Maldives, is Qatar Airways’ most-served route by flights this year. It has risen from 25th in 2019 from cuts to other destinations and from a quarter more services due to the country’s relaxed entry policy. It is top for Emirates too.

Doha to Dubai again appears on the most-served list. Following the blockade ending, the 235-mile (378km) route relaunched in January this year. It has three daily flights in the current month, a far cry from the up to 17 daily it had in December 2016. The A350-1000 is used most, although six widebodies are deployed to Dubai.

  1. Doha to Male
  2. Heathrow
  3. Tehran Imam Khomeini
  4. Johannesburg
  5. Amman
  6. Dhaka
  7. Baghdad
  8. Beirut
  9. Kathmandu
  10. Cairo
  11. Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen
  12. Kuwait
  13. Dubai
  14. JFK
  15. Frankfurt

Have you flown Qatar Airways this year? If so, let us know where you flew in the comments.