Qatar Airways will change terminals at London's Heathrow Airport on July 27, moving into the T5 home of Oneworld partner British Airways.
Heathrow Airport has confirmed the shift, while also adding that Japan Airlines will follow on July 29.
The Gulf carrier was forced to abandon its long-standing Terminal 4 base – along with plans to expand its T4 Premium Lounge lounge and adopt a new-look design – when the terminal was closed following an unprecedented slump in air travel caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this month, Heathrow Airport CEO John Holland-Kaye revealed that Terminal 4 will remain closed until 2021.
American Airlines has already relocated to T5, and several other Oneworld member airlines are tipped to follow, although some – such as Cathay Pacific and Qantas – will be eager to return to Terminal 3, given their lounge investments there.
Eligible Qatar Airways passengers – including business class travellers plus Platinum and Gold members of Qatar Airways' Privilege Club loyalty program – will have access to BA's reopened T5 First and Galleries Club (business class) lounges.
However, they'll be a definite step down compared to Qatar's T4 lounge, which boasts a superb dining room with a restaurant-grade à la carte menu.
Qatar Airways Privilege Club Platinum members will also enjoy use of BA's First Wing, which offers its own fast-track immigration and security lanes plus direct entry into the First lounge.
As previously reported, Qatar Airways intends to begin flying its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners next year, and they'll sport a new business class seat that's a crossover between the current Dreamliner seat and the Qsuite.
This will be followed in 2022 by the airline's Airbus A321neo and A321neo LR jets, crowned by what something akin to a single-aisle Qsuite (sans sliding door).
The retirement of Qatar's Airbus A380s will commence in 2024, with the last of the ten superjumbos being put out to pasture by 2028, at which point the airline may be flying luxurious new first class suites on some of its Boeing 777X jets.
However, those cushy cocoons would appear on “just a handful” of the Gulf carrier’s Boeing 777-9 aircraft, which in turn would feature on only a few premium-heavy European routes.
“We have huge demand here in Qatar to two or three European destinations” such as London and Paris, Qatar Airways Group CEO His Excellency Akbar Al Baker told Executive Traveller last month, “so we may introduce a very small first class cabin for our local passengers who want a very exclusive first class product.”