On Monday 6 February 2017 (Waiting Day), Qatar Airways flight number QR920 touched down in Auckland at 7:16 am for the first time. What made this inaugural flight special besides it being the first commercial flight for the airline to New Zealand is the fact that it was non-stop service from Doha, Qatar. Covering a distance of 14,535km, this makes it the longest flight in the world, eclipsing Emirates’ Dubai-Auckland service by 335km.
— Qatar Airways (@qatarairways) February 5, 2017
2016 was a year that saw a number of airlines which include Air Asia, American Airlines and Hainan enter or re-enter the New Zealand market. More airlines, more flights, more seats, more options has resulted in more competition and inevitably, more competitive airfares. This for the travelling public is a good thing because flights more so from rather than to New Zealand (and domestic flights) are on the more expensive side when compared to other markets. But, the addition of more international carriers to NZ skies has seen the price of international airfares drop significantly.
In the case of Qatar Airways, a big advantage of the non-stop service between the two cities is that it will see travellers shave some time off their total travel time. When flying long haul anything to make the trip shorter is alway a bonus.
Europe, which happens to be a popular part of the world for Kiwis is one of those places that takes forever to get to. Qatar Airways eases the pain of this journey with the direct flight and a quick stopover at Hamad International Airport in Doha. Their launch fares to Europe started at just over $1200 but these have now been adjusted to starting at $1,520. Not wanting to be beaten on price, this saw their main rival, Emirates offering airfare specials to Europe starting at $1,499.
Why fly Qatar Airways’ Doha – Auckland Route
Here a few reasons why you should consider flying Qatar Airways to or from Auckland:
- It’s a 5-star airline
- They offer competitive pricing (for now)
- 34-inch seat pitch in economy class (if business class is your thing, then you get an extra-wide seat that reclines 180 degrees into a lie-flat bed)
- Up to 3,000 entertainment options via their in-flight entertainment system, Oryx One
- Quick stopovers in Doha which make for a shorter total travel time (for those travelling on to other destinations such as in Europe)
- 96-hour transit if you want to see what Qatar has to offer – http://www.qatarairways.com/global/en/qatar-transit-visa.page
- 150 destinations across the world (The Americas, Middle East GCC, Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe)
For now, Qatar is offering “cut-price” fares and there is no telling if these will be long term. Whatever the case may be, if you are a price conscious traveller looking to travel to Europe and beyond for a reasonable price, then consider Qatar Airways. It’s not every day that you get to fly on a 5-star airline.
Image courtesy of Qatar Airways.