Qatar Airways To Return To Sharjah With A Boeing 787

Qatar Airways is resuming flights to Sharjah on July 1. The Doha-based airline will fly a daily Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the route. Qatar Airways last flew to Sharjah in 2017, ending services when the UAE cut diplomatic ties with Qatar.

Qatar Airways will return to Sharjah with daily flights from July 1. Photo: Qatar Airways

Daily Qatar Airways Dreamliner flights to Sharjah

Qatar Airways says the new flights will enable passengers flying from and to Sharjah to benefit from Qatar Airway’s extensive international network. The airline also notes Sharjah operates as a handy alternative to busy Dubai.

According to Qatar Airways, QR1036 will depart Doha (DOH) daily at 14:35 and touch down in Sharjah (SHJ) at 16:45. The return flight, QR1037, will push back from Sharjah at 17:55 and arrive back in Doha at 18:05.

At the time of publication, Qatar Airways has the flights loaded onto its website and available for booking. The short 245 mile (394 kilometer) flight will be operated by a Boeing 787-8. That particular aircraft type offers 232 seats in a 3-3-3 configuration in the main economy class cabin and 22 lie-flat seats in the business class cabin. Unfortunately, there are no Qsuites on the 787-8. But on such a short flight, by the time you got comfortable, it would be time to land.

Source: Qatar Airways

Lifting of blockade sees Qatar Airways back in the UAE

The resumption of flights to Sharjah continues an aggressive rollout or resumption of routes by Qatar Airways. In the last two months, Qatar Airways has announced flights back to Khartoum, Mykonos, Málaga, Atlanta, and Phuket. The airline has also launched its inaugural flights to Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire.

The return to Sharjah is aided by a wind-back of the diplomatic row between Qatar and several countries, including the UAE. As a result of that long-running disagreement, the UAE imposed an air and sea blockade on Qatar. Given its location, strategically perched in the middle of the various emirates, the blockade imposed some tough operational hurdles on Qatar Airways.

In addition to having to avoid UAE airspace, flights between Doha and the various UAE airports (including Sharjah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Bahrain) ended. However, the blockade quietly ended at the start of this year.

As a result, Doha’s Hamad International Airport, the home base of Qatar Airways, could again host flights to and from neighboring UAE airports. Sharjah will become Qatar Airways’ third UAE destination following the lifting of the blockade. The airline already flies to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Meanwhile, one UAE carrier has also restored flights to Doha. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways is flying a Boeing 787-9 twice a week between Abu Dhabi and Doha. But Emirates and Gulf Air have so far decided not to put Doha onto their destination map.

Sharjah International Airport is Qatar Airways’ newest destination. Photo: Sharjah International Airport

Blockade took a toll on Qatar Airways

Earlier this year, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker admitted the blockade had taken a toll on his airline.

“It will make a big impact on our operational costs,” Al Baker told CNN when the blockade ended. “Khartoum will be only three and a half hours instead of seven hours.” 

The Qatar Airways CEO estimated his airline would save $1.2 billion in operating costs as a result of the restrictions being lifted. But Al Baker also noted it was not just in Qatar’s interests to end the blockade, it was also in the best interests of the blockading countries, including the UAE.

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