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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.

  • Alex says:

    On the subject of Qatar Airways what has happened to their reward seat availability? Nothing coming up on for any route I have checked recently. Any insights from anyone?

  • TripRep says:

    do you know if it works oneway from the US back to EU?

    • Luthar says:

      Yes it does. I have just booked a flight in J from JFK to Madrid for 25k.

  • kk says:

    I have 1100 points listed in my account as “Points Migrated” in December 2017.
    What do you reckon the expiry date for them will be, would they count 2 (is it 2 now?) years from that date?

  • kk says:

    Re: Eurostar’s new Club.
    I have 1100 points listed in my account as “Points Migrated” in December 2017.
    What do you reckon the expiry date for them will be, would they count 2 (is it 2 now?) years from that date?

    • James says:

      I asked Eurostar this question and they confirmed its 2 years from the date migrated. To keep them active you just have to earn at least 1 point every 2 years

  • Rob says:

    Off-topic sorry.,Could anyone confirm whether there is a BA lounge at New Orleans airport and if not, whether there are other alternatives. I have an Amex Platinum and Priority Pass. Thanks.

    • AndyGWP says:

      Last I read (about a month ago), there wasn’t a lounge there… can’t remember what it said the alternatives were though! Sorry

  • Lee says:

    OT – anyone applied Platinum companion credit card recently? Hit the £500 spending more than a week ago but no bonus points. What’s the time frame for that? Amex used to be very good at crediting rewards points.

    • Roger says:

      Still waiting for mine.
      Do I need to spend £500 for 5000 points offer? I thought it was straight application and you get points.

  • Cate ⛱️ says:

    OT as bits, I’ve just received an invite to apply for a SPG credit card (I already have one) and I thought this was an interesting addition:

    ‘Two Starpoints for every £1 of eligible purchases charged to your Card at participating SPG and Marriott Rewards® hotels until 31 December 2018.’

    Seems like things are gearing up for January 2019.

    • New Card says:

      Has anyone recently been offered the “2 points per £1” retention deal on the SPG Amex? I know some people were getting offered this recently – thinking of asking myself…

      • mark2 says:

        I cancelled a few weeks ago and it was not mentioned, nor was the six month rule.

      • Lawro says:

        Yes, a couple of times in the last 12 months.

  • Mikeact says:

    One for bits…..,.i see that Norwegian are going to launch between Buenos Aires and Perth and possibly onwards to maybe Singapore. Sit on the right hand side for spectacular views of the South Pole. Possibly not for all readers, but a great round the world via the Southern Hemisphere trip.

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

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