Qatar Airways’ inaugural flight from Doha to London Gatwick touched down yesterday at Gatwick Airport, where it was welcomed with a celebratory water salute. The new double daily service, operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, makes London Gatwick the airline’s sixth gateway into the United Kingdom and second gateway to London.
Qatar previously operated a route between the British capital and Doha, however it was pulled in 2011.
The reintroduction of the service will compliment Qatar’s existing services to London, providing passengers with enhanced connectivity on routes from the United Kingdom to Qatar Airways’ extensive global route network of more than 150 destinations. Over the summer period, flights to London Gatwick will further increase to 16 services per week.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Qatar Airways is delighted to be expanding its reach in both London and throughout the UK. Earlier this month, we launched direct flights to Cardiff, the capital of Wales, clearly demonstrating our continued commitment to this market.
We are very proud of our strong and extensive trade ties with the UK and look forward to offering our loyal passengers the chance to explore the newest and most exciting destinations within our global network.”
The airline recently revealed a host of forthcoming global destinations in line with its expedited expansion plans, including the announcement that Qatar Airways will be the first Gulf carrier to begin direct service to Luxembourg.
Long-haul growth for Gatwick
Gatwick Airport Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Stewart Wingate, said: “I am delighted to mark the start of this double daily service to Doha today as Qatar Airways’ extensive route network offers passengers more choice of onward destinations, including those across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Qatar Airways is also one of the world’s premier airlines and provides a level of service that is sure to prove popular with our passengers.
“This new route also strengthens Gatwick’s growing long-haul network, which has more than 60 routes and we hope to grow it further still in coming months.”
This summer Qatar Airways will operate 95 flights to the UK per week, including six daily departures to London Heathrow, 16 weekly departures to London Gatwick and Manchester, and daily flights to Cardiff and Edinburgh, alongside seven flights per week to Birmingham.