The Doha-London sector will soon see more connections as Qatar Airways is set to resume flights to London Gatwick from June. After some back and forth, the Doha-based carrier seems ready to commit to London’s second-busiest airport this summer.

Gatwick is back on the map

Qatar Airways has announced that it will resume flights to London Gatwick from June 5th. The Middle East carrier will deploy its lower-capacity 787-8 Dreamliner from Hamad International Airport (DOH) to London Gatwick (LGW) on a daily service as flight QR 0329, leaving at 1:40 am.

The aircraft will feature 22 seats in business class and 232 seats in economy, and the flight will complement the recently launched flights between the two airports by British Airways. A fellow oneworld carrier, BA is a joint business partner of Qatar Airways, and the two together will offer twice-daily flights between DOH and LGW.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, had this to say about the flight,

“Our commitment to the UK market has been unwavering, and we operated continuously and reliably throughout the pandemic, so I am pleased we can resume our popular service to London Gatwick. We offer excellent connectivity to and from the UK, providing travelers with more choice and convenience.”

The airline will deploy its 787-8 Dreamliner on the route. Photo: Md Shaifuzzaman Ayon via Wikimedia Commons

25 years in London

Qatar will complete 25 years since the start of its service to London Heathrow in March 1997. Since then, it has added several flights to the city, including starting services to Gatwick from 2004 with the A330-200/300.

The flights to LGW were suspended in 2011 for commercial reasons but were resumed in 2018 with a Boeing 787-8, operating twice daily, and three flights on Fridays and Saturdays in peak summer 2018.

The carrier was hoping to return to Gatwick from the start of the summer season in March itself, with the flight bookable on its website. However, it was soon pulled off, and the date was pushed to October for the winter season.

Qatar also offers five daily flights from London Heathrow, 18 weekly flights from Manchester, and four from Edinburgh (set to increase to daily from June 2nd).

Qatar Airways first ever 777 Getty
Qatar is on a network expansion spree, announcing many new services recently. Photo: Getty Images

Post-COVID recovery

The airline has announced several new services and flight resumptions lately and seems quite eager to expand its network once again following the COVID-induced downturn.

A few days ago, it was announced that Qatar will launch flights to Santorini, Greece, starting June 7th. The destination will be its third Greek route along with Athens and Mykonos. Qatar will also relaunch its seasonal flights to Mykonos in the same week.

The airline will also return to Windhoek, Namibia in June, making it its 31st African city. It also added new routes to Nigeria with four weekly flights to Kano and thrice-weekly service to Port Harcourt.

Africa is becoming quite significant in Qatar’s network recovery plan, with seats to the continent up by 82% versus pre-pandemic. According to OAG data, the airline has virtually four million Africa seats for sale this year.

Are you excited about Qatar’s flight resumption to London Gatwick? Do share your comments below.

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