The FINANCIAL — Qatar Airways is pleased to announce that it will launch direct daily flights to Cardiff commencing 1 May 2018, making the award-winning airline the first Gulf carrier to service Wales and Southwest England.
Cardiff is a strategically important destination for Qatar Airways as it opens up a new portion of the United Kingdom to the airline, as well as allowing more people to visit the great city of Cardiff from the Gulf and even further afield. Cardiff, the capital of Wales, is one of the most compelling tourist destinations in the UK, with countless museums and exhibitions, a thriving music scene and world-class sporting events regularly on show at the Principality Stadium, according to Qatar Airways.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of our new route to the Welsh capital. Many travellers currently fly to and from London using ground transport between London and Cardiff, and the launch of direct service will allow passengers to fly directly from Wales and the Southwest to Doha and beyond for the first time. We look forward to offering both business and leisure travellers this convenient connection to Cardiff and points beyond.”
Rt. Hon Carwyn Jones, the First Minister of Wales, said: “The daily service between Cardiff and Doha is a huge boost for Wales. It will open up Wales’ links with the rest of the world and deliver new economic, leisure and travel opportunities for Welsh businesses and the people of Wales. Providing a direct route into the world’s fastest growing hub airport, Hamad International Airport, will also bring Wales closer to leading global markets such as India, China, Singapore and Australasia.”
Cardiff Airport Chief Executive Officer Deb Barber, said: “I am immensely proud that world-class airline Qatar Airways has recognised the potential that exists within the region and chosen Cardiff Airport to operate a daily service. The service opens up a world of connectivity for our customers to destinations across Australia, New Zealand, Africa and Asia.
“More than 1.4 million passengers per year from the region travel to destinations that are available on the Qatar Airways network – 90 per cent of these passengers are currently travelling from London airports, which emphasises just how much demand exists within the market. We look forward to developing our fruitful relationship with Qatar Airways over the coming months and to the start of this exciting new route in May 2018.”
The route was first announced earlier this year and is a transformative one for Cardiff Airport, as it will open up the Gulf region for passengers from South Wales and Southwest England for the first time. Travellers to and from Australia and Southeast Asia are also set to benefit from the daily long-haul flights via Doha.
The new service between Doha and Cardiff will be served by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with 22 seats in Business Class, offering passengers direct aisle access with its 1-2-1 configuration, and 232 seats in Economy Class.
Onboard the Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner, lower altitude-equivalent pressure, improved air-quality and optimal humidity coupled with large, electronically dimmable windows create dramatic vistas and provide passengers with extra natural light. Full-spectrum LED lighting will help them adjust to changing time zones, allowing passengers to arrive at their destination feeling refreshed.
Cardiff is one of 26 new routes announced by Qatar Airways planned for the remainder of this year and 2018, including Chiang Mai, Thailand; Canberra, Australia and San Francisco, US, to name a few. The airline connects travellers to more cities in Europe than ever before, with recent launches to Kyiv, Prague, Skopje and Dublin, to name just a few.
Qatar Airways currently serves London Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh, with Cardiff to be the airline’s fifth destination in the UK.
Qatar Airways was awarded a number of major accolades this year, including Airline of the Year at the prestigious 2017 Skytrax World Airline Awards, held at the Paris Air Show in June. This is the fourth time that Qatar Airways has been given this global recognition. As well as being voted Best Airline by travellers from around the world, Qatar’s national flag carrier also won a raft of other major awards at the ceremony, including Best Airline in the Middle East, World’s Best Business Class and World’s Best First Class Airline Lounge.
Doha (DOH) to Cardiff (CWL) QR 321 departs 07:25 arrives 12:50 (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat)
Cardiff (CWL) to Doha (DOH) QR 322 departs 15:55 arrives 00:50 (+1) (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat)
Doha (DOH) to Cardiff (CWL) QR 323 departs 01:15 arrives 06:40 (Tue, Thu, Sun)
Cardiff (CWL) to Doha (DOH) QR 324 departs 08:10 arrives 17:05 (Tue, Thu, Sun)