Qatar Airways will begin operating daily direct flights from Cardiff Airport on May 1, 2018. The new service between the Welsh capital and Doha will be operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The service will be the first regular direct long haul flight linking Wales and South West England to a major global hub in the Gulf region.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are delighted to announce the launch date for our direct service to Cardiff. Many travellers currently fly to and from London, using ground transport between London and Cardiff, so this new route will allow passengers to fly direct from Wales to Doha and beyond for the first time.”
Deb Barber, Chief Executive Officer of Cardiff Airport, commented: “I am immensely proud that world class airline Qatar Airways has recognised the potential that exists within the region and chosen Cardiff Airport to operate a daily service. The service opens up a world of connectivity for our customers to destinations across Australia, New Zealand, Africa and Asia. More than 1.4m passengers per year from the region travel to destinations that are available on the Qatar Airways network – 90% of these passengers are currently travelling from London airports, which emphasises just how much demand exists within the market. We look forward to developing our fruitful relationship with Qatar Airways over the coming months and to the start of this exciting new route in May 2018.”
Roger Lewis, Chairman of Cardiff Airport, added: “This is a pivotal moment for Cardiff Airport. The far reaching consequences of this service for passengers and businesses across Wales and the South West of England will be transformational. Cardiff Airport will now provide the only daily scheduled direct flight to the Gulf in the South West of the UK. This is very special indeed for us all. On a personal note, I thank the Welsh Government for their support over the past two and half years, and the British Ambassador to Qatar, His Excellency, Ajay Sharma and his exceptional staff for their outstanding support without which we would not have achieved this success.
Rt Hon Carwyn Jones, the First Minister of Wales, said: “The daily service between Cardiff and Doha is a huge boost for Wales. It will open up Wales’ links with the rest of the world and deliver new economic, leisure and travel opportunities for Welsh businesses and the people of Wales. Providing a direct route into the world’s fastest growing hub airport, Hamad International, will also bring Wales closer to leading global markets such as India, China, Singapore and Australasia.”
Qatar Airways Boeing 787s will arrive at CWL at 12:50 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and at 06:40 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Corresponding departure times to Doha will be at 15:55 and 08:10. The airline has a dedicated page on its website, highlighting the many compelling attractions in the city and across the region.
The November/December issue of Airports of the World, on sale on October 26, will include an in-depth feature on Cardiff Airport including an exclusive interview with CEO Deb Barber.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/M J Richardson