Though international air travel remains depressed by the global pandemic, Qatar Airways said Tuesday it will launch four weekly flights between Seattle and Doha on March 15, 2021.

The big Persian Gulf carrier also announced a frequent flyer partnership with Alaska Airlines that will begin next Tuesday, Dec. 15.

That will allow Alaska’s West Coast fliers to earn miles on Qatar flights beginning on that date, when it introduces service between Doha and San Francisco. Qatar already has service between Doha and Los Angeles.

Qatar said it will rebuild its network post-pandemic, providing travelers from Seattle with alternative flights to destinations in India, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.

In a statement, Port of Seattle Commission President Peter Steinbrueck suggested the opening of the Doha route — as an early indicator of the return of international air travel — lends support to the Port’s continued investment in two large infrastructure projects at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport: the International Arrivals Facility and North Satellite Modernization.

“This commitment by Qatar Airways, despite the current situation with the pandemic, is a testament to how the world views the long-term strength and resiliency of the Puget Sound region,” Steinbrueck said.