Qatar Airways to launch flights to Prague Airport, Amsterdam Schiphol and Rio de Janeiro

Qatar Airways flying down to Rio has learnt that Rio de Janeiro will also be served by Qatar Airways next year, along with Amsterdam and Prague. Rio comes just in time for next year’s World Cup in Brazil – Qatar hosts the World Cup in 2022. (Apologies to 1930s Pan Am.)

Having announced its plans to serve Edinburgh earlier today, can exclusively reveal that Qatar Airways is also looking to add three more destinations to its route portfolio next year: Prague and Amsterdam in Europe and also Rio de Janeiro — no doubt just in time for next year’s World Cup in Brazil (Doha is set to be the World Cup city in 2022).

Launching on 28 May with a five times weekly 787 service (Scotland’s first scheduled Dreamliner service), Edinburgh is perhaps the most significant launch as its represents the first of the MEB3 airlines (Middle East Big 3 airlines = Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways) to make the decision to start services at Scotland’s capital city (Emirates flies double-daily with 777-300s into Glasgow). And when the carrier launches passenger flights to Amsterdam, it will have completed the MEB3 set — with all three airlines then offering services.

Route Dubai (WF) Abu Dhabi (WF) Doha (WF)
Edinburgh (EDI)
Prague (PRG) Emirates (7), Travel Service (1) Czech Airlines (4)
Amsterdam (AMS) Arkefly (3), Emirates (7), KLM (10), (3) Etihad Airways (7), Garuda Indonesia (6), KLM (7) KLM (6)
Rio de Janeiro (GIG) Emirates (7)
Source: Innovata / Diio Mi w/c 20-26 November 2013

In terms of other operations to these four new airports which have been started in the last two years, Emirates started its Rio de Janeiro operation in January 2012, while launched an Amsterdam to Dubai service (initially twice-weekly) in October 2012. In addition, Etihad Airways launched its daily Amsterdam service just six months ago in May 2013.

3 long-haul routes for Edinburgh; good news week for Prague

Qatar Airways’ planned arrival in Prague completes a good news week for the Czech capital, which has seen the return of Ryanair next April from Dublin, as well as Air Transat starting weekly operations from Toronto next June. Equally, at Edinburgh, the airport will receive a huge long-haul boost next summer with the Qatar Airways service starting in the same week as United Airlines’ seasonal five times weekly 757 service to Chicago O’Hare (launching 23 May), as well as the recently announced US Airways seasonal six times weekly 757 route to Philadelphia (also launching 23 May).

Meanwhile, when Qatar Airways adds these three new destinations to its existing new route list over the next six months, the carrier will be close to serving 130 cities from its Doha hub. According to’s New Route Database these launches include:

  • 20 December 2013 — Hangzhou, four A330-200 flights per week (its sixth destination in China);
  • 1 March 2014 — Dubai Al Maktoum and Sharjah, both double daily with A320s;
  • 2 April 2014 — Philadelphia, daily 777-300ER (its fifth US destination);
  • 28 May 2014 — Edinburgh, five 787 flights per week;
  • 10 June 2014 — Miami, daily 777-200LR (its sixth US destination).


  1. PeterLacey says:

    They promised Birmingham (BHX) last year too.
    When is that happening?

  2. Tom says:

    Any update on the announced Athens-New York route? Is it officially canceled? Last I heard, they blamed the 787 delays for launch delays.

  3. William says:

    I do not think JFK->ATH->DOH will be happening due to the economic situation within Greece. QR was planning for DTW until the city went bankrupt and opted for MIA instead.

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