Qatar Airways to resume daily flights to London Gatwick
Qatar Airways will resume daily flights to London Gatwick starting 20 August 2020. The flights will be operated by the airline’s modern fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The resumption of London Gatwick services will see the airline’s UK operations expand to 45 weekly flights to four gateways in the UK.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker, said, “We are very pleased to resume flights to London Gatwick, further cementing our position as the leading international carrier providing connectivity to the UK. UK passengers can connect seamlessly and safely via the Best Airport in the Middle East to more than 40 destinations across Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and South Asia.
“The UK is a very important strategic market for Qatar Airways, and we are proud of our repatriation efforts to-date including never stopping services between the UK and Doha that have helped bring over 200,000 passengers home. The resumption of London Gatwick services is a significant indicator of the resilience of the UK travel market, and we look forward to resuming more of our UK destinations to support the recovery of tourism and trade in the region.”
Gatwick Airport CEO, Stewart Wingate, said, “We are delighted to welcome Qatar Airways back to Gatwick after what has been a challenging time for the whole industry. To be able to offer Gatwick passengers the opportunity to fly to Doha– a fantastic city in its own right and a gateway to destinations across Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand – is another positive step in the recovery process.
“Alongside our airlines, Gatwick has implemented a number of extra measures to keep both passengers and staff as safe as possible travelling through Gatwick, which is helping to rebuild public confidence in air travel.”
Qatar Airways Cargo currently operates eight freighters per week to London Heathrow and London Stansted in the UK. During the pandemic, the cargo carrier operated a large number of charters and freight-only passenger aircraft to the UK to support British exporters and transport essential medical supplies and PPE to the region. With the resumption of passenger flights to London Gatwick, Qatar Airways Cargo will operate 74 weekly flights to the United Kingdom, providing more than 1,400 tonnes of weekly cargo capacity each way.
Due to Covid-19’s impact on travel demand, the airline has taken the decision to ground its fleet of Airbus A380s, as it is not commercially or environmentally justifiable to operate such a large aircraft in the current market. The airline’s fleet of 49 Airbus A350 and 30 Boeing 787 is ideal for most strategically important long-haul routes to the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific regions. The airline’s internal benchmarks identified that the A380 emitted over 80 percent more CO2 per block hour on certain routes to the UK with the A350 saving around 16 tonnes of CO2 per block hour. Until passenger demand recovers to appropriate levels, Qatar Airways will continue to keep its A380 aircraft grounded, ensuring it only operates commercially and environmentally responsible aircraft.
Qatar Airways’ home and hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA), has implemented stringent cleaning procedures and applied social distancing measures throughout its terminals. Passenger touchpoints are sanitized every 10-15 minutes and boarding gates and bus gate counters are cleaned after each flight. In addition, hand sanitizers are provided at immigration and security screening points.