SAN FRANCISCO — The city of San Francisco will become one of the nine Qatar Airways destinations in the United States according to an announcement made on October 7.

The airline announced it would operate four weekly flights, starting on December 15, between Doha and San Francisco. This is the fifth new destination that Qatar Airways has launched during the pandemic. Currently, it provide flights to eight cities in the U.S. that include Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. This new route will allow new connections to global destinations such as Africa, India, Nepal, Pakistan and South Africa. 

“As the gateway to Silicon Valley and the vibrant tech economy, the San Francisco Bay Area is a globally important destination, both from a business and leisure perspective,” said Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Bake. “We are excited as we launch this new destination, making it easier for our passengers to reunite with their loved ones, having taken more than 220,000 Americans home to the U.S. via scheduled and chartered flights amid the pandemic.”

The service to San Francisco will be provided by the airline’s Airbus A350-900 that has a capacity for 283 passengers. The airplane features Super Wi-Fi broadband, which will be free for passengers until January 2021, and has 36 seats in the award-winning Qsuite Business Class.

Doug Yakel, San Francisco International Airport public information officer, told the San Francisco News that this announcement gave them confidence and was a sign that air travel is on a path to recovery. 

“While we have been celebrating the resumption of previously-established international flights that had been suspended due to reduced demand, an announcement of a brand new route is significant, especially in these times,” Yakel said.  “In particular, we have been seeing strong demand for travel between SFO and India, and we expect this service from Qatar to benefit from that demand, by allowing travelers to connect through Doha to India.

Mayor London Breed said she was proud to welcome the airline to San Francisco as part of the efforts to expand international air service at the airport. SFO Director Ivar C. Satero also commented on the announcement. 

“We are proud to welcome Qatar Airways’ new nonstop service between San Francisco and Doha this December,” Satero said. “As airlines restore travel destinations around the world, we applaud the vision of Qatar Airways to make this new route a reality, and we look forward to offering a world-class airport experience to travelers from its network.” 

During the pandemic, Qatar Airways has continued their service for flights to Chicago and Dallas/Fort Worth. It has also provided some flexibility to passengers, including unlimited date changes, validity of tickets for two years for those who book them until December 31 and travel refunds for the rest of the year as well. The airline has issued $1.4 billion in refunds since March. 

As part of the safety measures taken due to COVID-19, the airline provides PPE for cabin crew and a protective kit for passengers. It also operates Honeywell’s Ultraviolet (UV) Cabin System to ensure hygiene on the planes. 

The new route is scheduled to flight Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday as follows:

  • Doha (DOH) to San Francisco (SFO) QR737 departs: 08:15 arrives: 12:55 
  • San Francisco (SFO) to Doha (DOH) QR738 departs: 14:55 arrives: 17:15+1

Tickets are available on Qatar Airways’ website.