Latest Update, August 26, 2021: Qatar Airways has recently been adjudged as the best airline in the world by Skytrax, an international air transport rating organization. One of the major carriers in the US-India travel sector, the airline got a 5-star rating from Skytrax in four categories: Best Airline, Airline COVID-19 Safety, Best Airport, and Airport COVID-19 Safety. Notably, Qatar Airways’ hub, Hamad International Airport in Doha, is named the Best Airport of the Year 2021.
Is Qatar Airways flying between the US and India now? Many travelers still have queries like this though the airline has been operating one-stop US-India flights since the Qatar-India air bubble agreement took effect late in 2020. Qatar Airways is providing connections from the US on its air bubble flights to India from Doha. Most of our customers have successfully traveled on air bubble flights between USA and India, including those operated by Qatar Airways.
As per the winter schedule announced on October 2, 2020, Qatar Airways is operating flights to more than 124 destinations, including some of the major cities in India and the United States. Currently, Qatar Airways is providing connections from New York (JFK), San Francisco, Seattle, 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. Qatar Airways will resume flying to and from Atlanta in June, 2021.
Since the beginning of 2021, we have rebooked travel for many of our patrons whose reservations for Qatar Airways flights to India were canceled in the wake of the pandemic early in 2020. We have been booking cheap Qatar flight tickets to India from USA right from the time India set up green corridors for safe air bubble travel. Qatar Airways is one of our trusted, long-time airline partners,” said the chief customer relations officer of Indian Eagle.
Qatar Airways’ new flights between USA and India
Qatar Airways has expanded its footprint in the United States by adding San Francisco and Seattle to its network. Thus the airline is connecting the West Coast to India and other parts of its network via Doha. Qatar Airways is operating four weekly flights from 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 connect with major Indian cities, thereby competing 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. While Air India launched SFO to Bengaluru nonstop flights in January 2021, United Airlines will follow suit in May, 2021.
Who can travel on Qatar Airways Flights between USA and India?
On outbound Qatar Airways flights from India to USA, all US nationals and their immediate family members, green card holders and their dependents, and Indian passport holders irrespective of the US visa they hold (B1/B2, H1B, H4, F1 and others) can travel. Please note Indian passport holders with a US tourist visa (B2) can also fly on Qatar Airways from India to USA. Members of US armed forces and their dependents including spouses and children are eligible for Qatar Airways’ India-USA flights.
On inbound Qatar Airways flights from USA to India, all Indian nationals and US citizens (with/without OCI cards) can travel. US citizens without OCI/PIO cards need to have a valid visa to enter India. Please note entry into India on a tourist visa (electronic/paper format) and a medical visa (issued on or before October 21, 2020) is currently prohibited.
Please note if you are flying into Los Angeles from India, you (16 years old or above) are required to fill out the ‘City of Los Angeles Traveler Form’ before or upon arrival. Otherwise, you may face a penalty up to $500. Fully-vaccinated individuals (those who received the final dose of an FDA-approved vaccine before 14 days or more) arriving into LA are exempted from self-quarantine. Unvaccinated non-essential travelers flying to LA must quarantine themselves for 7 days if they get a negative COVID-19 viral test result 3-5 days after their arrival. Those who do not take a COVID-19 viral test after their arrival must undergo self-quarantine for 10 days.
Please note if you are flying into New York, you (18 years old or above) are required to fill out the ‘New York Travel Health Form’ before or upon arrival. You are not required to quarantine yourself or get tested on arrival if you are fully-vaccinated (14 days or more after receiving the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the first dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine) and have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months. Fully-vaccinated travelers who haven’t recovered from the virus in the recent past, and unvaccinated travelers are recommended to get tested after 3-5 days of arrival. The latter are also advised to consider optional self-quarantine (7 days if tested after 3-5 days of arrival, otherwise 10 days).
Qatar’s guidelines for transit passengers from India
With effect on April 29, 2021, Qatar Airways’ passengers from India arriving or transiting in Doha need to take a COVID-19 PCR test not more than 48 hours before their scheduled departure from India and present a negative report issued by an authorized medical center or lab. This applies to Qatar Airways’ USA-bound passengers from India. Failure to meet this requirement will result in denial of boarding.
India’s guidelines for travelers transiting in Doha
As per India’s current regulations for travelers from abroad, all international passengers coming from/transiting in the Middle East have to give their swab sample for a molecular test on arrival at a designated area at the entry airport in India and then exit the airport or take a connecting flight. The result will be communicated later via e-mail or over phone and if negative, self-monitoring of health for 14 days will be advised. However, if you are traveling on Qatar Airways flights to Mumbai from USA via Doha and your final destination is within Maharashtra, you will be put to 7-day institutional quarantine unless you belong to any of the few exempted categories.
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.