Xiamen, First Chinese Airline to Fly to Qatar

Xiamen Airlines, in collaboration with Qatar Airways through a codeshare agreement, will become the inaugural Chinese airline to operate flights to Doha.



September 9, 2023

DALLASXiamen Airlines (MF) has revealed plans for a significant commercial and marketing initiative aimed at promoting air travel between Mainland China and Qatar. As part of this endeavor, the airline will introduce two new routes connecting the two countries, making it the first Chinese carrier to offer flights to Doha (DOH).

Commencing on October 31, MF will initiate flights from its primary hub at Xiamen-Gaoqi Airport (XMN) in Fujian Sheng province, situated off the coast of the Taiwan Strait, to the Qatari capital. Initially, these flights will operate twice a week using Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Xiamen will launch another route from Beijing-Daxing Airport (PKX) to Doha, complementing the daily Qatar Airways (QR) service on the same route.

To further strengthen their presence in the Asian market, QR and MF have established a codeshare partnership on all three aforementioned routes. This collaboration will enable both airlines to expand their networks and enhance their reach in Asia.

Qatar Airways Xiamen Airlines Codeshare Partnership
Image: Qatar Airways

Cross-Collaboration Between Alliances

Partnerships between airlines are typically announced when the carriers are part of the same alliance or joint venture. However, MF joined the Skyteam Alliance in 2012 as its 19th member, while QR has been a member of Oneworld since 2013.

Despite this, the two airlines have collaborated to expand their presence in the significant Chinese market. This collaboration is made possible by the extensive route network QR has from its hub in Doha, which has enabled both carriers to enhance their global influence.

Akbar Al Baker, the CEO of Qatar Airways, expressed pride and honor in Xiamen Airlines' choice of Doha as a new destination and their sole Middle Eastern destination. He highlighted that the flights offered by both airlines are seamlessly connected to QR's extensive global network, providing customers with increased choices and seamless travel experiences.

Xiamen Airlines Boeing 787-9 Valencia VLC
Differing from the shorter variant, the Xiamen Boeing 787-9 does not feature the first class cabin of the airline. Photo: Fabrizio Spicuglia/Airways

Xiamen, 7th Largest Airline in China

Xiamen Airlines, despite being the seventh largest carrier in the People's Republic of China, operates a fleet that surpasses those of Scandinavian Airlines (SK) or TAP Air Portugal (TP). This fact, with 159 active aircraft, clearly underscores the size and importance of the Chinese market in the global aviation industry.

The majority of MF's fleet consists of Boeing 737 aircraft, with 118 737-800s, nine 737-700s, and 10 Boeing 737 MAX planes. Following closely behind are the recently received Airbus A321neo aircraft, with a total of 12 units in service.

For its routes to Qatar, the Chinese airline will utilize the Boeing 787-9, configured in a two-class layout. Each flight will accommodate 30 Business Class seats and 257 Economy Class seats.

Featured image: Xiamen Airlines B-2768 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. Photo: Daniel Gorun/Airways