Many travelers have been waiting for Qatar Airways to resume flights between the US and India since some green corridors were set up for air bubble flights to and from India. Is Qatar Airways flying to India Now? Yes, the airline is providing connections from USA on its air bubble flights between Doha and India. The Qatar-India air travel bubble agreement took effect on August 18, 2020.
Qatar Airways flights between USA and India are back to the skies ahead of the airline’s winter schedule starting December 2020. Like other airlines, Qatar Airways is bound to comply with certain regulations for its operations to and from India unless the Government of India allows resumption of regular international flights. The suspension of normal flights to and from India will continue till December 31, 2020.
As per the winter schedule announced on October 2, 2020, Qatar Airways operates flights to 124 destinations including some of the major cities in India and the United States. Currently, Qatar Airways is providing connections from New York (JFK), Boston, Dallas, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Miami and Washington DC (IAD) on its flights to New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmadabad, Kochi, Kozhikode and Trivandrum from Doha.
“Many of our customers, whose Qatar Airways flights to India were cancelled in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, are planning to rebook their travel early in 2021. We have resumed booking cheap Qatar flight tickets to India from USA as we had been doing before the pandemic disrupted travel. Qatar Airways is one of our trusted, long-time airline partners,” said the chief customer relations officer of Indian Eagle.
San Francisco is all set to be Qatar Airways’ tenth destination in the United States and the second destination in California. Starting December 15, Qatar Airways will operate four weekly flights to San Francisco, using an A350 which features the award-winning QSuite business class. The A350-900 with QSuite has earned kudos for making long-haul business travel equally comfortable and luxurious. Qatar Airways’ SFO-Doha direct flights will connect with India and other countries, and go into competition with Emirates Airlines, Lufthansa, British Airways, Air India and United Airlines.
With air travel pacing up across geographies, San Francisco is eyeing to reposition itself as a key business and leisure destination. Both United Airlines and Air India are all set to launch nonstop flights between San Francisco and Bengaluru in 2021.
Who can travel on Qatar Airways Flights between USA and India?
US nationals and their spouses, green cardholders/permanent residents of the US and their spouses, and children/foster children of US nationals or green cardholders can travel on Qatar Airways from India to the USA via Doha. Spouses of US nationals or green cardholders must have a marriage certificate. Parents/legal guardians of US nationals or permanent residents of the USA who are unmarried and younger than 21 years are eligible for traveling on Qatar Airways from India to the USA. Members of US armed forces and their dependents including spouses and children are eligible for Qatar Airways’ India-USA flights.
Please note F1, H1B, and H4 visa holders can also take Qatar Airways flights from India to the United States via Doha, according to some passengers who successfully traveled on the airline from India to the US in the past two weeks.
Please note you are required to fill out ‘Massachusetts Travel Health Form’ if you are traveling to any place in the State of Massachusetts, or ‘New York Travel Health Form’ if New York State is your final destination. All travelers (above 18 years of age) from COVID19 high risk (level 4) countries including India are required to complete the form before or upon their arrival in Massachusetts and New York State. You are bound to quarantine yourself for 14 days at your residence or at some other suitable place after entering your destination in New York State or Massachusetts if you do not take a COVID-19 test prior to departure from India. If Massachusetts is your final destination in the USA, you should give a sample for pre-departure testing not more than 72 hours of your arrival in Massachusetts. 3-day quarantine and a COVID-19 test on the fourth day are compulsory in New York State even though you arrive with the negative report of a COVID-19 test taken in India.
Qatar Airways flights from USA to India are open to OCI/PIO cardholders irrespective of citizenship and passports. US nationals holding a valid visa to India (except tourist visa or medical visa issued on or before October 21, 2020) are not barred from traveling on Qatar Airways flights to India via Doha. Students/minors if one of the parents is an Indian national or an OCI/PIO cardholder; single parent of a minor who is an Indian national or an OCI cardholder, and spouses of nationals of India are eligible to travel Qatar Airways from the US to India.
There is yet no clue to whether Qatar Airways is planning to offer pre-flight COVID tests like Emirates Airlines, Etihad Airways, and Lufthansa. A negative COVID-19 test report from the port of origin is one of the few ways to get exempted from institutional quarantine in India. Recently, IATA (International Air Transport Association) called for governments to share the COVID-19 testing costs with airports and airlines, so that the flying public feels confident about air travel amid the current pandemic.
Subject to the Indian aviation regulator’s approval, the frequency of Qatar Airways’ US-India operations will go up over time. If certain countries, including India, uphold their travel/entry restrictions affecting Qatar Airways flights, passengers will be given “the most flexible and generous options to reschedule their plans,” said Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group CEO.