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Qatar Airways launches THREE daily flights from London Gatwick

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On a one to ten scale of weirdness, this is – on the face of it – quite high.

At the ITB travel show in Berlin yesterday (and where I am today) Qatar Airways announced two to three new daily flights between London Gatwick and Doha.

The flights will start on 22nd May with two new daily services.

A third service will run on Friday and Saturday between 15th June and 29th September.

Qatar Airways launches new routes from London Gatwick

All flights use a Boeing 787-8, so this will be the very good herringbone layout in Business Class and not the new Qsuite.  My review of that seat is here.

This is a lot of extra capacity to add into the market with just three months notice.  The continuation of the blockade with the UAE is stopping Qatar Airways being used as a cheaper indirect option to get to Dubai or Abu Dhabi

Late May is also a bad time to start a service because you are entering the peak Summer months where Doha as a final destination starts to look very unattractive due to the heat.   Adding a 3rd daily flight just as the heat becomes unbearable is even odder!  Most people will choose to transfer onwards, of course.

I get a feeling that this is linked to British Airways and its need to ‘use or lose’ the Gatwick slots it acquired from the administrators of Monarch.  BA has possibly given its biggest shareholder free use of three slot pairs.

BA and Qatar Airways have a joint venture on routes between London and Doha so British Airways will be getting a cut of the revenue.  This may also allow British Airways to effectively drop its own Doha service – which has been suspended for a while – to free up an aircraft whilst the 787 fleet is awaiting engine repairs.

The press release is here.


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Comments (95)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • RIchard says:

    Ethiopian crediting at 100% in cheap economy to Aegen or Turkish is also very tasty for getting Star gold.

    • Alex Sm says:

      this is exactly why my partner and I decided to fly with them to LA last October

  • Lee says:

    OT. Does anyone know of a decent US website similar to this one that I can recommend to an American friend? Thanks!

    • Lady London says:

      We’re British
      We’re British. HfP is quite unique in style (the general niceness). I think most would agree that Rob and Anika’s coverage is very balanced on the whole. With that balance is also exceptional depth and useful detail of coverage in many areas. In particular Rob’s ability to dissect products and news of a financial nature and give excellent views as to their strong and weak points and market background.

      Then there are HfP’s unique set of commenters. Genghis without whom we’d all spend much time faffing around trying to understand things and choose best strategy. Too many others to mention whose comments enlighten me every time they pop up. Honourable mention to Harry who hasn’t been seen for a while who is so insightful and direct in his comments.

      Is there an equivalent US website? There are many many websites and blogs that cover varieties of similar content area for the US.

      What particular content is your friend looking for coverage on, in the US?

      • Down the Back says:

        Where is Harry these days ?

        • Kinkell says:

          Chilling !! Out at his ‘place in the sun?’
          Taking a well earned rest from commenting?
          Gearing up to entertain us?
          We do notice his absence.

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        Typical US blog style review.

        Alex Cruz is awesome (link to credit card). He let me fly for free in Club World (check out this credit card), the seats were amazing (BTW here’s another credit card).

        Of course HfP also makes money out of affiliate links but it’s backed up with good advice and analysis. The US blogs often just seem to be pushing the things that get them the most commission or being nice to companies that give them free stuff.

        • RIccatti says:

          Reminds me that British Airways partnership with Chase in the US was offering Visa with 150,000 Avios for some 4K spent (or 5-7K, no matter). That’s a return on Cathay Pacific in First pre-devaluation.

          The point is — we wouldn’t mind to be pushed into applying for such cards..

      • mike says:

        you are confusing “direct” with “offensive and provocative”

        • Genghis says:

          But certainly value adding, unlike many comments now it seems (including this one of mine)…

        • Leo says:

          +1. Struggling with “insightful too. Marmite I guess.

        • Lady London says:

          With respect, no I’m not :-). My words were very deliberate.

          Yup you can have Marmite. My favorite’s Vegemite 🙂

    • RIchard says:

      For industry news and analysis Cranky Flier is good. For healthy skepticism of the real value being generated by the hobby then try milenomics. If they want credit card stuff.. good luck!

    • callum says:

      I like One Mile at a Time. Largely as a consequence of this blog, I’m now “too knowledgeable” for most of the stuff posted here so tend to read that a lot more as they always have interesting articles on random trips and reviews as well as how to earn miles etc.

    • Rob says:

      Purely in terms of personality and writing style and (frankly) the intellectual level of the content, I would say Frequent Miler.

      • Lawro says:


        That’s exactly who I would’ve suggested. Really enjoy his style and way of thinking.

    • MattyS says:

      Frugal Travel Guy and Mommy Points also worth dipping into as they are more travel articles and less credit card adverts (but still a fair amount of these) Can’t say any of the US sites come across as a direct comparison to HfP for the reasons Lady London mentioned.

      • Lady London says:

        I do like Michelle’s style on Turningleftforless dot com too, she’s another English lady just like me who’s motivated by luxury experiences. She does give very nice advice on the odd user question too and is very thorough. Her views on the variousT3 lounges seem to be the same as mine. Well I got that impression anyway. As a blogger in the industry and especially being English, it was a question for me of “reading between the lines” of her pleasant prose. And IMV she is spot on, on lounges and hotel quality. Rob has very specific unique value added as I commented above, that you just don’t get anywhere else and I feel Michelle and Rob’s blogs co-exist happily they do not really overlap both are pleasant to read.

  • Sam Wardill says:

    Ethopian Airlines are great but Addis Airport is the pits!

    • Michael C says:

      Are they ok?! They’re always the cheapest for GRU-LHR-GRU! But yet to send m-in-law alone to change in Addis…one of these days…

      • pauldb says:

        Really – I thought is was pretty impressive, in a way. Chinese investment had built a top draw building and there’s a massive expanse in which to grow it, but the shops/cafes inside brought it back to a comparable level. It’s 200% better than NBO and 5000% better than Freetown or Conakry.

      • Doug says:

        Which dates are you looking? Lately all Y flights for this route are not so cheap so often I find a stop in EU saves ~ 20%

  • Nick Burch says:

    At the HFP Christmas party, the folks from Qatar UK were a bit sad that we all flew with Qatar, but almost always from EU cities to save money. Maybe this extra Gatwick capacity will allow them to do some ex-UK sales and fix that!

    • Lady London says:

      This may turn out to be a very good move as Gatwick is a very efficient airport that is getting easier and easier to reach for people from a large catchment area.

      I am always interested to see pricing of seats at peak times especially summer, going out of Luton, quite often exceeds prices achieved at Gatwick and Stansted. If Luton was a decent airport then I bet someone like QR and some other longhaul could really clean up there by running well promoted services at peak times.

      • Thomas Howard says:

        Luton should have been a contender for the additional airport capacity, its a shame the four runway hub proposal wasn’t built there.

    • Rob says:

      I would be surprised if they can do aggressive sales because of the JV agreement with BA.

      • Nick Burch says:

        Can’t they just limit the sales to those destinations currently excluded from the Joint Venture? IIRC the JV tends to exclude cities that BA itself flies to (other than Doha, though arguably they don’t really fly there right now…), so for the cities where BA does fly to that aren’t in the JV they ought to be fine to do a big sale?

      • Lady London says:

        Hmmm I’d have put it differently. Route-sharing agreements such as the Transatlantic agreement to share revenue on all their Transatlantic flights which British Airways, American Airline, Finnair and Iberia have obtained from the regulators, just say “cartel” and “continued high prices for consumers as they stop the airlines competing with each other” to me.

        Code-sharing can come close but for me route-sharing just says Cartel which IMV should be banned. IMV regulators who have allowed these were sleeping, or worse.

        Come back Harry please.

  • TripleB says:

    I like the thoughtful analysis on the QR to LGW. This is what sets HFP apart from other sites.

  • Kevin says:

    BA announced that they are to use a 789 on the LHR/DOh route from July whilst extending the joint venture with QR.

  • IslandDweller says:

    Gatwick is indeed getting better connected. Direct trains from Peterborough and Cambridge start running in May – and a couple of ‘teaser’ services each day on those routes are already running to get staff familiarised and iron out any glitches.

    • Lady London says:

      And those trains go past Luton on the way down to Gatwick.

      Leaving aside the ridiculous bus arrangement from the “Luton Parkway” railway station to the airport, which is chaos at key times and overpriced, an awful lot of people from North of the Home Counties would love to use Luton for Transatlantic and a bit of other long haul, I am sure. But in the way the airport’s run at the moment – it’s not scaleable as it’s not efficient.

      I wish the Local Authority that I gather owns and runs Luton Airport??? would consider having BAA run it and expand it and just live off the proceeds. Run properly and expanded there is a huge willing catchment area for Luton that is currently not served.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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