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Monday, October 26, 2020

Air Canada to launch flights to Doha this December!

 


According to RoutesOnline Air Canada will be launching flights between Toronto and Doha, Qatar in just over a month! This comes as a big surprise not only for the route itself but even the timing of launching it in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Qatar Airways already flew the route for about a month this past summer when out of the blue they announced the flights and started up the route a few short days after that! The route didn't last very long but perhaps it was being done more as a test for this upcoming Air Canada flight. The airlines do have agreements in place with Air Canada providing feed to Qatar's flights out of Montreal and will be doing so on the vice versa out of Doha. This is why you have the option to choose additional Canadian cities on Qatar Airways' website even though Qatar Airways only flies out of Montreal. In fact a recent email from Qatar Airways even mentioned utilizing Air Canada for those connecting flight.



 

The new Air Canada flights are scheduled to start December 15 (subject to government approval) and will initially operate three times weekly with the following schedule:

AC058 YYZ2010 – 1640+1DOH 789 246
AC059 DOH0840 – 1505YYZ 789 146

You can already book tickets for the flights - here's an example of the pricing during the first week of the flight operating:



The flight is available on Aeroplan as well and for business class it should be pricing out at 165,000 miles + those pesky high fees however Aeroplan seemed to be having some difficulties at the time of publishing this post and it was pricing out at 0 miles + $1376 in taxes and fees:

Due to this error it does appear that you can't book this flight online just yet as it wouldn't let get past the screen above. To pay cash for the same flights you are looking at $4923.63 which means if you were to redeem right now the miles would save you $3546.99 or just over 2.1 cents per mile which is an alright redemption value but not great. For business class redemptions with Aeroplan you should be able to higher value than that so this would be a case of weighing the opportunity cost of using those miles for a future redemption or saving yourself $3647 right now.

In the new program these same flights will range from 170,000 miles to 400,000 miles for the same business class but will incur fees much lower than this as the new program will not be charging the carrier surcharges:

Based on what is happening in the world I sure hope Aeroplan doesn't go charging 400K for this flight as of November 8 as the flights shouldn't be very full. If I was to gamble on a redemption I would wait for the new Aeroplan to kick in to book these flights as the cash savings will be huge on the taxes and fees and I can't foresee them pricing out more than 200K miles for the short term as this route gets established. (Don't quote me on that though!)

Images via Air Canada & Qatar Airways

  
 

 

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