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Qatar Airways returns to Birmingham and announces new Asian routes

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Qatar Airways had some positive news for Avios collectors in the Midlands yesterday with the announcement that flights to Birmingham International are to resume.

The airline had served Birmingham pre-pandemic but hadn’t rushed to bring back flights.

The good news is that the ramp up will be quick.

I was in Berlin yesterday to see the announcement, as part of the ludicrously huge ITB travel trade fair. If you’ve ever wondered what an airline press conference is like, they are like this (bonus points if you can spot me!):

When do Qatar Airways flights to Birmingham start?

Flights from Birmingham will resume on 10th July.

It will be a daily service.

The timings jump around. On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday it is an 9am departure (arriving 5.55pm) whilst on other days it is a 2.45pm flight, landing just before midnight.

Similarly, the return flight from Doha on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday is overnight (2.20am departure, arrives 7.30am). On other days it is a more civilised day flight, departing at 8am and arriving just after 1pm.

The aircraft will be a Boeing 787-8 so you won’t be getting Qsuite. It is the same seat as the Qatar Airways A380 business class seat I reviewed last week.

(Hat-tip to @SeanM1997 on Twitter for the timings.)

What other destinations were announced?

If you are looking to redeem Avios on Qatar Airways, either from Birmingham or elsewhere, it is also worth flagging the other new routes announced yesterday.

Start dates vary and some will be towards the end of the year. The airline was clear that some may be brought forward if aircraft deliveries can be accelerated.

Routes being launched for the first time are:

  • Chittagong (Bangladesh)
  • Juba (South Sudan)
  • Kinshasa (DR Congo)
  • Lyon
  • Medan (North Sumatra, Indonesia)
  • Toulouse
  • Trabzon (Turkey)

As well as Birmingham, routes being resumed post covid are:

  • Beijing
  • Buenos Aires
  • Casablanca
  • Davao (Philippines)
  • Marrakesh
  • Nice
  • Osaka
  • Phnom Penh
  • Ras Al-Khaimah
  • Tokyo Haneda

There are clearly some good Asian opportunities here.

Add in 35 routes with frequency increases and Qatar Airways will be operating 21% more daily flights in July 2023 vs July 2022. There is no sign of Cardiff resuming unfortunately.

How many Avios do you need for Qatar Airways flights?

Funny you should ask. We recently published the only chart available anywhere showing pricing from the UK for Qatar Airways Avios redemptions.

These new destinations are not on the list, of course, but it won’t be difficult to guess the pricing based on cities in a similar geographic region.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

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Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

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Run your own business?

We recommend Capital on Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

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You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

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There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

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American Express Business Gold

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Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (45)

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

  • ChrisBCN says:

    Seems like there is no business availability BHX-DOH through July and August

    • Andrew J says:

      Seems to be bookable from what I’m seeing.

      • ChrisBCN says:

        Oops, I meant via avios

      • Aston100 says:

        I’ve been checking since yesterday afternoon.
        Economy rewards seats were available yesterday.
        Business class Q2 double Avios seats are available from today.
        I cannot see any regular priced business class award seats in July or early August.
        Perhaps they will unlock in the coming days.

        However, I wonder if there will continue to be no availability from DOH to popular destinations that were already sold out (the usual BKK, KUL, SIN etc)? If so, it might not be possible to get further than DOH this year?

        • Aston100 says:

          On Avios I mean.

        • DonLee says:

          Qatar definitely has blackout date though they told Rob they don’t. I have been checking MAN-DOH since last year the standard avios availability end at 6th July.

          • ChrisBCN says:

            I’m inclined to agree, I have been checking various Europe to Doha routes, haven’t found anything for all of July and August on those routes

  • Miles. OnPoint. says:

    It would be great to know if Qatar are planning to restart the route to Da Nang (DAD) in Vietnam.

    Always wanted to visit Hoi An and would be nice to be able to minimize internal travel (vs flying into SGN)

    • Rob says:

      This seems to be the full list for 2023, given that a couple on the list won’t launch until late Autumn anyway.

      • Miles. OnPoint. says:

        Understood, thanks Rob. Hopefully they will add it back in the near future once they have more aircraft available again.

    • Jonathan says:

      Hoi An was great, I loved it there

  • PeterK says:

    If only a daily flight it’s best for connectivity to have half as am flights and half as pm. Turkish Airlines does the same when launching a new route with a daily service.

  • TGLoyalty says:

    Completely disagree 8am is more civilised than 2:20am!

    • Aston100 says:

      Both sound pretty bad. I suppose I would opt for the 02:20 departure as the lesser of two evils.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        4pm checkout or later in Middle East. Dinner … head to airport few drinks and sleep from take off to touchdown. 2:20am is perfect.

        8am. You waste the night or get no sleep and end up rushing to the airport

        Agree that 9am out of BHX is no picnic.

    • Ironside says:

      If it’s BHX, I’d be concerned about getting through morning security in time for an 8am departure.

      (1.5 hours standing around last time I was on a 7:30am flight. Apparently “this is normal for a Monday”)

  • Pogonation says:

    Wish they came to NCL!

  • David says:

    OT will Aer Lingus or Iberia ever do a MAD to Asia as I find it astonishing they go everywhere south and west but nothing East. To utilize the 241 there?

    • Tom says:

      I’d also wondered that.

    • JDB says:

      There are plenty of other OW airlines going East; IB is better to stick principally to its strong and profitable franchise in Central/South America and for EI it doesn’t really fit the model. There’s one thing hoping you can use your voucher to yet more places but there airlines are looking for a commercial return.

    • ADS says:

      did Aer Lingus once fly to the Middle East, or was that just an Etihad code share?

      the Aer Lingus brand has no visibility in Asia, so from an IAG perspective, I can’t see it being a priority

  • James says:

    I still cant believe I once flew Qatar business from Birmingham to Phuket return for £970.

    Absolutley unthinkable these days.

  • Jag says:

    trying to book BHX – DOH for December but only getting flight schedule till September. Does anyone know when they will release schedule for after September?

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