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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Fourth airline to begin flying direct from Doha to Istanbul


AtlasGlobal A320
AtlasGlobal A320

Passengers flying between Doha and Turkey this summer will have a fourth airline to choose from when Istanbul-based AtlasGlobal launches its new route.

The carrier, which marks its 15th anniversary next month, plans to make its inaugural flight to Doha on July 1.

Its entry to the market means Istanbul will become the only city directly connected to Doha by four airlines.

AtlasGlobal’s daily flight will leave Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport at 10:20pm and land in Doha at 2:20am. The return flight leaves Doha at 3:20am and lands in Istanbul at 8:05am. Several aviation websites say the airline will use an Airbus A320 on the route.

More competition

AtlasGlobal lists a one-way ticket on Aug. 17 as costing US$196, including 30kg of checked baggage. That’s less expensive than Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways, both of which run multiple flights daily and list prices for that same day at $326 and $321, respectively.

However, the cheapest way to fly from Doha to Istanbul is still on Pegasus Airlines, which uses Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen International Airport and offers one-way tickets on Aug. 17 for $106. Checked baggage costs extra.

The addition of AtlasGlobal will likely further increase competition and make it more affordable for residents to connect directly to Istanbul from Doha.

Most routes involving Qatar are currently served by, at best, two carriers. The exception is Manila-Doha, as Philippines airline PAL recently started to compete against Qatar Airways and low-cost carrier Cebu.

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul for illustrative purposes only.
The Blue Mosque in Istanbul for illustrative purposes only.

AtlasGlobal’s debut in Qatar is coming slightly later than planned. Aviation website Routesonline reported that the daily service was initially scheduled to start June 20, but gave no indication why the launch was delayed.

Qatar and Turkey have been deepening political and military ties in recent years. Both countries recently lifted visa restrictions on citizens of the two states, and Istanbul is a popular vacation destination for Doha residents.

Would you fly AtlasGlobal? Thoughts?

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