Qatar readies to add next US destination

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Qatar Airways will soon announce its next destination in the USA, as the Doha-based carrier proceeds with an ongoing expansion in the Americas.

The carrier's chief executive Akbar Al Baker says today the airline is "about to announce" its next US destination, but declines to provide more details.

Al Baker has said previously the carrier plans to launch flights to Atlanta, Boston and Detroit. Qatar Airways operated its inaugural flight to Chicago on 10 April, adding the fifth North American city to its network.

Qatar also serves New York, Washington DC, Houston and Montreal.

The airline had initially planned to serve Chicago with a daily flight, but will operate thrice weekly on the route initially due to the grounding of the airline's 787s. From 15 June, the Doha-Chicago flight will be operated daily.

Al Baker is convinced that demand on the Doha-Chicago flight will be strong enough to warrant operating an Airbus A380 on the route. Qatar Airways has firm orders for 10 A380s, and had been scheduled to take delivery of its first later this year.

Chicago O'Hare International airport, however, is not equipped yet to handle the A380, says Al Baker. "We will convince the airport to prepare gates for the A380, hopefully in 2015," he adds.

An expansion at Dallas-Fort Worth is also a "possibility", Al Baker tells Flightglobal when asked. Qatar Airways has signed a codeshare deal with American Airlines, which is based at the airport in Texas.