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Qatar Airways hoping to launch Belfast flights, says the CEO

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I was in Cardiff yesterday to watch the First Minister of Wales and the Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive inaugurate the new service from Cardiff to Doha.  It is currently operating five days per week but will increase to daily from June.

All services will use a new Boeing 787 in a 22 Business / 232 Economy configuration.

The Qatar Airways CEO gave another of his famously unscripted speeches.  One of his plans is to build a five-star hotel in Cardiff – there are no five-star hotels at present – as part of the airline’s nascent hotel arm.  This would, as he said clearly, be dependent on ‘support’ from the First Minister.

The most interesting item of note was the stated wish to launch services from Belfast as the next UK departure point.  Given that the airline is about to start flying to Malaga, Luxembourg, Valletta, Antalya and Tallinn, Belfast doesn’t seem that crazy.

Comments (84)

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  • Alan says:

    Re: Tesco>Virgin.
    If you already have CC points and select “Autoconvert” willit automatically conevrt existing points? (The article suggests otherwise but just checking – never converted points before as I don’t think its good value).
    Assuming it doesn’t autoconvert exisitng points, can you swap back to not autoconvert once the 1000 bonus points drop in your account? Do you need to autoconvert a certain number of points before the bonus is applied?

  • JohnT says:

    Tesco to Avios is back showing 800 for auto convert for me. Manual only got me 600 last time.Wonder if they will do a prize draw. Last day to decide.

    • Rob says:

      BA is going to do a prize draw. There is no incentive AFAIK.

      • Delbert says:

        Will there be much incentive for BA to run prize draws once Avios disappear, Rob?

        • Rob says:

          Yes, they will still do it. It is a) an incentive not to convert to Virgin and b) an incentive not to convert to Uber etc.

  • KP says:

    OT: Is there anyway I can track when a ET/CE seat opens up on BA for avios? I’m looking for a particular flight on 12 June LHR-FCO and I would like to snap it as soon as someone cancels or they open up more seats. Thanks!

    • Kipto says:

      I would subscribe to ba redemption finder and pay £3 per month. They check every hour for you and are supposed to email you when a flight becomes available. I have subscribed but haven’t had an email as yet. I don’t know what others’ experiences are. ?

    • Geoff says:
      does exactly this for specific days but not specific flights.

      • KP says:

        Yes I do use that site for redemptions but I want to track a specific flight…there is availability on that day but I want a particular flight which gets to FCO around the same time my parents arrive from NBO

    • KevMc says:

      Use – you can set an alert for a specific route/date and will get an email if more award seats are added

    • Lady London says:

      Expertflyer dot com. I haven’t used it but it’s apparently the thing for this.

  • Nigel Williams says:

    £100 Harrods spend?

    That will be two coffees then 😉

    • Rob says:

      Spend a couple of grand and your Harrods Rewards status increases and you get unlimited free tea and coffee in the restaurants.

      Harrods sells expensive things but is not overpriced, if that makes sense. Your bottle of EDT costs the same as it does in Debenhams if you buy the same brand.

    • Lady London says:

      That was why I used to get my lunch in Fortnum & Mason when I worked in Mayfair. It was cheaper than most of the sandwich bars around. Far nicer too.

  • Combat Johnny says:

    Damn, i work 5 minutes walk from harrods but no offer

  • Bonglim says:

    O/T but interesting regarding Marriott/ SPG changes.
    I have recently signed up for Amex platinum and applied for all the hotel schemes. I have been given SPG gold as expected – that came through really quickly!

    I expected that to be matched to Marriott Gold – part of the reason I took Amex platinum now rather than waiting for August. Instead I have been matched to Marriott Elite Silver.

    This is the paragraph from an earlier article:
    “The Marriott team did not know, but went away to consult. When we reconvened at a Rag’n’Bone Man private gig last night (as you do) Marriott’s European VP of loyalty confirmed that any Amex Platinum member who has matched their SPG Gold to Marriott Gold will become ‘Merged Scheme’ Platinum until the end of 2018. Tom is my witness to this!”

    Do we think that new SPG Golds are now only going to be matched to Marriott Silver (so they do not have to go to new scheme platinum in August)- or perhaps special rules for those who have newly achieved status from amex platinum?
    Or have I just got something completely wrong?
    Thanks for your advice.

    • Rob says:

      No, SPG Gold should match to Marriott Gold. Nothing has changed in that respect AFAIK.

  • mike says:

    hi Rob

    curious to know whether you decided to request the Marriott Platinum challenge you asked readers about couple of weeks ago?

    what was your thinking/maths in the end?

    asking as I am thinking of doing the same


    • Rob says:

      Yes I did, and indeed stayed at the Marriott in Bristol this week. I also have Zurich and Atlanta nights booked in and can swing at least one more work trip. That leaves me 5 stays short. I’ve got some Moxy Excel bookings in for £45-50, although rates start going up after the end of May.

      So … I reckon I’m looking at £250 maximum marginal cost for the 5 Moxy nights, offsetting the points earned. Given that I have 1 million+ Marriott points to spend and that the cost of (for eg) breakfast for 4 adds up quickly, I don’t see any problem getting value from that. If I get a soft landing to Platinum for 2020 then I will be substantially ‘up’.

      • Cate ⛱️ says:

        Did you have to complete stays or nights please Rob?

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