Saturday, February 11, 2012

Qatar Airways opened a premium lounge at London Heathrow

Qatar Airways opened a premium lounge at London Heathrow at the end of Jan-2012, the carrier’s first premium lounge facility outside of its home hub at Doha. Qatar Airways CEO, Akbar Al Baker, said that London Heathrow was the “obvious choice” for the new premium lounge, as the London Heathrow service is one of the carrier’s best performing routes.
The new lounge reinforces London’s position as one of the airline’s most important destinations. Qatar Airways operates four daily services to London Heathrow, offering more than 11,000 seats per week with a mix of A330-200/300, A340-600 and Boeing 777-300ER equipment. The carrier also codeshares with bmi and United Airlines on the Doha-London Heathrow service.
Qatar Airways’ London Heathrow lounge follows, after some time, similar lounges from competitors Etihad Airways and Emirates. Etihad Airways opened a dedicated premium lounge at Heathrow in 2009 while Emirates has operated a dedicated first/business class passenger lounge since 2006.
London Heathrow is the most heavily trafficked destination in Europe for Middle Eastern airlines, beating out other hubs such as Frankfurt, Milan and Paris. It is a particularly strong destination for GCC airlines, with more than 140 weekly frequencies operated by Gulf region carriers alone.