Jerry

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I just read that article. Interesting quote
"Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, also told Business Traveller that he expects the airline’s route to Cardiff to resume this year, explaining that this depends on the speed of the repair project of the A350 aircraft."
 

LBAYORKIE

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I just read that article. Interesting quote
"Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, also told Business Traveller that he expects the airline’s route to Cardiff to resume this year, explaining that this depends on the speed of the repair project of the A350 aircraft."
Business Traveller is a good source of information.
 

geoff

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That's great news, I was disappointed when they announced 7 new routes and the resumption of 11 others, but it's good to know they still have plans for CWL.
 

gulftraveller

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I'm curious, how do you know about the yields.

Is there a source for that?

It does look like if CWL is too see the return of Qatar Airways it probably won't be until 2024 at the earliest.

The problem is that without cargo, poor premium sales and low load factors outside peak periods, the route would never have been high on the agenda for a restart. It did not perform as QTR expected but on what they based that expectation I have no idea.
 

Jerry

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The problem is that without cargo, poor premium sales and low load factors outside peak periods, the route would never have been high on the agenda for a restart. It did not perform as QTR expected but on what they based that expectation I have no idea.
There was a cargo operation and i suspect for the airport Qatar is and was a key part of their plans too grow the cargo side. The route was growing pre pandemic but probably slower than expected but it was growing. Considering that Cardiff was the last UK destination they started it should be only reasonable too expect it too be the last to resume. Only time will tell if the route resumes but the statement from the CEO is positive.
 

Tinkerman

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It’s a no brainer for QR really … Re-launch those routes which are more established as soon as they can (A350 deliveries pending), and then move onto the likes of CWL when they have a sufficient number of A350’s to then allow the B787 to pick up the likes of CWL and others.

It should be seen as good news really that they’ve gone on record and said they’re looking to re-launch this year (which will be a major boost to the airport and it’s fortunes). Autumn would be a sensible time to relaunch as the majority of QR’s destinations/connections begin to come into season.
 

Coathanger16

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Whilst Business Traveller is usually a reliable source, many of the destinations Qatar announced today - both resumption and new - had dates TBD. I watched part of the press conference and Al Baker even mentioned I think it was Toulouse would be starting once they had enough A350s back in service. If this was also the case for Cardiff then why wasn't it included today with a TBD date? Some of the routes announced today have confirmed dates for early 2024.

As much as I hope CWL gets the route back, I do wonder if Qatar may be wiser to wait until their A321NEOs are a bit closer to being delivered (currently 2026). Maybe start off 4 or 5 weekly with a B787, then a year later increase to a daily A321NEO. Whilst some may view that as a downgrade in terms of onboard product, given what JetBlue has on offer, I don't see why Qatar would go for anything less.

How much cargo used to go on the Qatar flights from CWL? If it wasn't much, a narrow body might make more sense.
 

Jerry

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Whilst some may view that as a downgrade in terms of onboard product, given what JetBlue has on offer, I don't see why Qatar would go for anything less.
I suppose it depends on the onboard but it would be considered a downgrade especially with flights from London and Birmingham being a widebody people expect a widebody and with JetBlue ALL their flights are on the A321 and their customers tend to be used too that.

The CAA stats for Doha in 2018 (route started in May)
55,658 passengers. Total freight from Cardiff in 2018 was 1459 tonnes
2019
90,679 passengers. Total freight from Cardiff in 2019 was 1803 tonnes.
The freight numbers was the total for the airport, for reference 2021 was 16 tonnes, 2020 317 tonnes (PPE flights during that year), 2017 was 4 tonnes and 2016 5 tonnes. I do believe that the route was skewed more towards inbound freight than outbound.
 
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A400

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There was never any plan to restart CWL. Yields were too poor. BHX was not a great performer for QTR either so let’s hope it does better this time.
Yet good enough to go back there! By what was heard they haven’t given up on CWL either and as someone mentioned maybe the A321neos might work well for CWL or when more A350s get returned to service they will free up room for the Dreamliners.

Time will tell if they go back.
 

Coathanger16

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I suppose it depends on the onboard but it would be considered a downgrade especially with flights from London and Birmingham being a widebody people expect a widebody and with JetBlue ALL their flights are on the A321 and their customers tend to be used too that.

I used JetBlue as an example, but equally both Aer Lingus and TAP use both wide body and narrow body aircraft in their long haul networks. I've not heard of people avoiding those airlines because they use narrow body aircraft on long haul routes.

Almost 10% of the A321NEO orders are for the LR and XLR variants, and given the regular A321NEO has the range to fly Europe - Middle East, passengers are going to have to get used to flying longer flights on narrow body aircraft.

In terms of growth and route longevity, I'd much rather have a daily service on a narrow body than a less than daily service on a wide body. I'd wager more people would look to fly from BHX or LHR if there wasn't a flight from CWL on the day they wanted to fly, than if there was a flight but it was on a narrow body aircraft.
 

Tinkerman

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I agree with the above.

For now, if CWL can get the route resumption in Autumn 2023 on the B787 that would be a huge boost. Going forward, i guess the A321XLR would be an option for CWL and other similar airports when deliveries permit.
 

geoff

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Business Live Wales is carrying an article on the proposed resumption of CWL-Doha flights .Mr Al Baker was asked if the flights would recommence this year, or if he meant the financial year. Spencer Birns commented that he was in dialogue with Qatar Airways with a view to flights recommencing in 2024.
 

StanMan

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QR are running an advert in Walesonline today promoting travel from Cardiff. At this time, it's still using train to LHR then fly QR (which has been on their booking engine for a long time). It's the fact that they're running an advert in Walesonline makes me wonder if they're starting to warm up to an announcement of a return of CWL flights. Wishful thinking, maybe?
 

Jerry

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Fingers crossed, would be an excellent boost for the airport but i do worry that KLM needs to be back to 2019 levels first before Qatar Airways resume operations.
 

geoff

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I did read somewhere that KLM Cityhopper, are having to cut back some their schedules because of difficulties with the new E 190's, I believe it's the P&W engines, I think some other operators are having the same problem.
 

Jerry

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I did read somewhere that KLM Cityhopper, are having to cut back some their schedules because of difficulties with the new E 190's, I believe it's the P&W engines, I think some other operators are having the same problem.
Well the schedule is back to 3 daily so at the moment i don't see CWL affected.
 

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