Qatar will restart daily flights into London's Gatwick Airport from August 20.
Qatar Airways has restarted passenger flights to the UK’s Gatwick Airport.
The Doha-based airline will fly daily to Gatwick from August 20.
The flights will be operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the resumption of the service sees the airline’s UK operations ramp up to 45 weekly flights to four gateways, including three weekly flights to Edinburgh, three daily flights to London Heathrow and two daily flights to Manchester.
“We are very pleased to resume flights to London Gatwick,” said Qatar Airways group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker. “UK passengers can connect seamlessly and safely… to more than 40 destinations across Africa, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and South Asia.”
Qatar’s hub airport in Doha was recently named third best airport in the world at the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2020.
According to Al Baker, the resumption of the London Gatwick service is an indicator of the resilience of the UK travel market. “We look forward to resuming more of our UK destinations to support the recovery of tourism and trade in the region,” he said.
Along with the passenger flights, Qatar Airways Cargo will continue to operate more than 70 flights a week to London Gatwick, providing more than 1,400 tonnes of weekly cargo capacity.
“We are delighted to welcome Qatar Airways back to Gatwick after what has been a challenging time for the whole industry,” said Gatwick Airport chief executive officer Stewart Wingate. “Gatwick has implemented a number of extra measures to keep both passengers and staff as safe as possible,” he added.
London’s second airport has been hard-hit by the pandemic. In March, the UK flag carrier British Airways suspended all flights into and out of Gatwick amid the collapse in passenger demand. British budget airline easyJet also grounded its entire fleet and the airport was forced to close its North Terminal. In 2019 Gatwick served more destinations than any other airport in the UK, with a total of 46.6 million passengers passing through its doors.
Qatar has played a significant global role in repatriating citizens during the pandemic. According to the latest International Air Transport Association data, since April this year Qatar has become the largest international carrier, transporting more than two million passengers on 20,000 flights. The airline never dropped below 30 destinations throughout the pandemic.
However, Qatar hasn’t remained immune to the effects of covid-19. Its fleet of A380 aircraft has been grounded as they are not “commercially or environmentally justifiable” in the current climate. The fleet will remain out of service until passenger demand recovers to “appropriate levels”, according to a spokesperson for the airline.
Travellers from the United Arab Emirates, including those who have transited in the Middle East, are currently required to quarantine on arrival in the UK. For more information, go to the British government's Gov.UK website.