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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 (May 2023)

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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard is doubled to a crazy 50,000 Avios! Apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the free Barclaycard Avios Mastercard is doubled to 10,000 Avios. Apply here.

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

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Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (only to 30th May) and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

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

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You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

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

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! Read our full review

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

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

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

40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

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.

  • BajiNahid says:

    I did read an article that Cardiff will be back on the cards once more B787s become available for the airline after all the A350 repairs are carried out, lets see. I do hope that Qatar decide to launch some more UK flights, Stansted (Compete with EK), Glasgow? (Compete with EK), Belfast?

    • F says:

      I would love Cardiff back.

    • SamG says:

      I don’t know if Cardiff will be back I believe it was quite heavily subsidised. My MIL took it twice return to Singapore and there were no more than 30 in economy each time

  • Gary Arnold says:

    Fantastic Rob, you’ve made my day! I’m here in my place in the Alps and always used the Flybe Birmingham to Lyon route which obviously stopped a few years ago, if as you say Qatar fly to Lyon later in the year this will make my life so much easier as I have to go via London at the moment!

    • Kowalski says:

      Surely it would be better to travel to London and fly direct to Lyon rather than flying Birmingham – Doha – Lyon??

    • Andrew J says:

      I think you’ve misunderstood – QR won’t be flying from BHX to Lyon, but Doha to Lyon. So BHX to Doha to Lyon sounds a long and expensive way to get to France from Birmingham!

      • AJA says:

        Interesting TP run, though maybe not the cheapest option 😉

  • Gary Arnold says:

    Sorry scrub that! Being dim at 5 am in the morning I assume Lyon route to Doha after re reading the article!!!!

  • Jonny says:

    Any hints about when the 2-4-1 is coming to Qatar?

  • Andrew J says:

    The BHX flights were bookable from yesterday evening – on a 787. Which is good news as I prefer that seat to QSuite.

  • Vit says:

    Thanks Rob. Good to see PNH back on but do you know if it will still be via SGN like pre-pandemic?

  • Tetly1967 says:

    Well that has made my morning – flights from BHX always preferable to heading to the chaos of MAN or LHR

    • Gill says:

      Just looked at February 224 and all flights from Birmingham had a train from Birmingham to Heathrow or Manchester

  • Mr Benjamin Murphy-Ryan says:

    Great option for the midlands – did this pre-pandemic for half term trip to Thailand. Will take a look at flights – and great option vs going to LHR.

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

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