While we’ve seen many Middle Eastern carriers offering direct non-stop services to North America, it’s much more rare to see it happen the other way around. But it looks like from December 2020, Air Canada will be operating service to Doha, Qatar using its flagship Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
What we know about this route so far
According to Routesonline, Canada’s largest airline will launch service from Toronto Pearson International (YYZ) to Doha’s Hamad International Airport (DOH). This service will begin in mid-December – just over a month and a half away from now.
The flight details are as follows:
- AC058: The outbound flight will depart Toronto at 20:10 local time and arrive in Doha at 16:40 (local) the next day.
- AC059: The return journey will depart Doha at 08:40 local and arrive in Toronto at 15:05 (local) the same day.
Flying this route will be the airline’s 787-9, which offers 30 business class seats, 21 seats for premium economy service, and 247 in economy class.
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Why haven’t we heard anything from the airline yet?
Interestingly, we haven’t seen a press release from Air Canada yet, as new services like this would normally be accompanied by. However, Routesonline suggests that this service is pending government approval – which may indeed be the reason.
Alternately, rather than the news coming out over the weekend, it will be announced first thing Monday morning in a Canadian time zone.
Regardless of the ‘why,’ we can confirm that reservations are now available, as is witnessed by the screen capture below:
Competing with Qatar Airways
The service indirectly competes with Qatar Airways in terms of a direct flight to Qatar. Currently, the Middle Eastern carrier flies direct to Montreal from its Doha hub using the A350-1000. However, when it comes to offering direct flights to Doha, it’s just these two.
You wouldn’t expect this route to do well given how small of a country Qatar is. It’s not a huge destination, even in the best of times. However, when using Toronto as a gateway to North America and Doha as a gateway to other Middle East destinations, this route could be successful.
While the two airlines are part of different alliances, we’ve already seen them offer flights with one another as part of various itineraries.
Using Doha to Vancouver as an example, Qatar Airways has flown passengers to Montreal while Air Canada carries them on the Montreal-Vancouver sector. If we look at Toronto to Kuwait, Air Canada takes passengers to Doha, and Qatar Airways will take them from Doha to Kuwait.
Do you have any interest in this new Air Canada route? Let us know in the comments.