Doha based Qatar Airways currently serves 4 UK destinations: London Heathrow (served on a six-daily basis), Manchester (served up to eighteen-weekly), Birmingham and Edinburgh (both served daily). However, this is about to change, with Qatar announcing a brand-new route to the UK.
Cardiff, Wales will become Qatar’s fifth destination in the UK, planned to begin in 2018. Other new routes announced by the airline include Accra, Kiev, Mykonos, Malaga, San Francisco and Chittagong.
As of yet, however, there is no official launch date, frequency or aircraft announcement for the route, so the new Cardiff-Doha route could become a victim of Qatar’s notorious announcing, then delaying of new routes. For example, Qatar announced plans to launch flights to Las Vegas to begin in January 2017; a route that is now expected to launch in June 2018.
“It is fantastic that we will now be able to offer our customers more choice of travel with a world-class airline providing easy connections to destinations across the world.”
There is clearly work to be done on the part of Cardiff Airport, in providing the services to support a long-haul route, with a premium airline but the importance of this new connection to the region and Cardiff’s standing as a gateway cannot be underestimated, especially since it was widely seen that Bristol would be the number one candidate for a new MEB3 route to the UK, given Thomson’s 787 operations and the now-cancelled Continental Bristol-New York Newark route.
It is superb to see Qatar Airways branching out to serve so many smaller destinations worldwide – including Cardiff. It is likely to increase investment to the South Wales region and increase inbound tourism, thus providing an economic boost to the area. It will also provide unprecedented levels of connectivity to the population, who will be able to connect to over 150 destinations via Doha. I, for one, can’t wait to see Qatar gracing Welsh ground.
Who else is excited that Qatar is reaching out to Wales?