Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways CEO, announced in Athens yesterday that the airline intends to launch Doha-Athens-JFK / JFK-Athens-Doha flights in Spring 2013 using either B787 or A380 aircraft. The flights come at a time when both United and Olympic Airways have recently cancelled their direct JFK-ATH flights. Delta will continue operating the route using B767 aircraft.
Qatar Airways is a oneworld member designate, meaning that within the next 12 months or so you should be able to redeem American AAdvantage or British Airways Avios miles for this flight. If availability is as generous as it was during the Continental/Qatar partnership, then this could be a pretty sweet (and reasonable) redemption option for that summer trip to Greece. Middle Eastern carrier to Europe from the US? This could become the new norm as Al Baker noted that Qatar intends to operate several Doha – European – North American flights in the near future. Does Emirates have similar plans?
Speaking of Greece, check out my recent trip report on the Mystique, an SPG Luxury Collection property and one of my favorite hotels of all time.