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Qatar Airways is returning to Cardiff in December, it seems

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We ran an article last month quoting a BBC report which said that Qatar Airways was due to recommence flying from Cardiff Airport by the end of the year.

The airline flew to Cardiff before the pandemic but services have not yet resumed.

The BBC quoted the CEO of Cardiff Airport, Spencer Birns, as confirming that discussions were ongoing to agree a date for services to resume.

Qatar Airways to resume flights to Cardiff

I raised this with Qatar Airways two weeks ago when I was in Birmingham for the relaunch of that route but they did not have (or were not willing to reveal) a firm date.

According to @SeanM1997 on Twitter, Qatar Airways has filed for slots for four weekly flights from Cardiff to Doha starting on 18th December 2023.

Services would operate on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, with a 14.15 departure from Cardiff.

Four flights per week would be a drop on the daily flight operated before the pandemic, but is perhaps more realistic given that it needs to fill a Boeing 787.

Pre pandemic, the Welsh Government was paying Qatar Airways £500,000 per year in ‘marketing support’ to secure the route. It isn’t clear if these payments will resume.

The return of the airline would be a huge boost for Cardiff Airport which has lost most of its scheduled services since the pandemic. Most recently, Wizz Air closed its Cardiff base in January 2023 – despite only opening it in April 2022.

Today (21st July) there are only 17 flights scheduled to depart from Cardiff Airport. This comprises:

  • 3 x KLM to Amsterdam
  • 8 x Tui flights on holiday routes
  • 1 x Vueling to Alicante
  • 2 x Ryanair to Dublin and Faro
  • 1 x Aer Lingus to Belfast
  • 1 x Loganair to Edinburgh
  • 1 x Eastern Airways to Paris Orly

The return of Qatar Airways cannot happen soon enough.

Comments (33)

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

  • Worzel says:

    This topic being non London centric and comments drying up. I was wondering how the following are:

    Squills, Genghis, Danksy, Roberto, Polly, Sir Stamford.

    Others still involved but just a few to mention………..

    Best wishes, Worz.

  • Jimbob says:

    Well I live in Cardiff, but haven’t used the airport in over 20 years. There are always better options flying from Bristol and London.

    Sooner Welsh Government either stop funding the airport or double down and actually make it an airport I’ll fly from, the better.

  • Stephen Griffiths says:

    I hope to goodness this happens. We should not go over the many problems the airport faces, logistically and otherwise. The important thing to consider with this news is that Cardiff gets a long-haul carrier back. For Welsh people who live in Australia, New Zealand or other far off countries, the Qatar flight was a godsend. The worst thing about arriving exhausted at Heathrow after 24 hours on flights is the prospect of 4 hours more in a coach.
    The problems with the awkward location of Cardiff airport and the competition from budget carriers at Bristol are well-known but, at least with this long-haul carrier, the airport can start to offer more. It’s the least that Cardiff, as a capital city, requires.
    It is perhaps easy for me to say, but I wish Welsh people would try to support the airport more, rather than automatically choosing to fly from Bristol or other English airports.

  • Jan M says:

    I hope it will lead to improved connectivity to the airport. The cancellation of the dedicated airport bus (also run by the Welsh government) was one of the strangest decisions ever made. It’s such a pain to get to now.

    • Lyn says:

      There’s a train from Bridgend to Rhoose isn’t there , then a shuttle bus waiting

  • David says:

    Given the options of flying to different locations than you get with BA, i’d have thought this was big news for HfPers

    Personally, i love flying from Cardiff for short haul, given i live in mid wales – you’re through quickly on both out and return.

    Does anyone know which 787 they used to fly out of Cardiff? specifically business class seating (assume no first?)

  • Roger says:

    Dubai LOL. I think you’ll find the Ryanair flight was to Dublin …

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

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