TheLocalYokel

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Jerry

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Would be the next logical step giving them coverage of the whole of the British Isles and if Northern Ireland gets its government back again there are probably investment opportunities available as well.
 

aviatorconcorde

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Has any airline ever gone into expansion mode the way Qatar have of late? Will they be the first non European airline to serve all 4 UK countries?

Their nearest competitor Emirates, can't get into these airports as they don't have a plane small enough. Then again their Dubai hub is already rammed and they are looking to tap markets with No Emirates service at all. I.e Mexico and Panama.
 

Jerry

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Has any airline ever gone into expansion mode the way Qatar have of late? Will they be the first non European airline to serve all 4 UK countries?
With their hub operation and with them being cut off from a lot of the local routes they had no choice but to expand to keep the feed going.
I've no doubt it'll be a case of when not if they serve Northern Ireland.
 

TheLocalYokel

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About three years ago the Qatar UK and Ireland chief said in an interview that his airline intended to begin services from the South West, from Ireland, from Gatwick and probably from another airport in Scotland.

At the time Ireland was not defined but Dublin commenced within a year or so, the South West (CWL) was announced a year ago and began operations yesterday, and Gatwick has also been announced. Only the 'other' Scottish route has not yet been introduced. Many thought it would be GLA to complement Qatar at EDI. Given that Etihad is to withdraw from EDI perhaps Scotland/ME is being re-evaluated.

Anyway, the point of all this is that for the most part Qatar does not make empty promises when it comes to its intentions re new markets.
 

Ryan Kirkpatrick

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I am also hoping that they will finaly add a route to Belfast International. Last year it was reported that QR wanted to expand in Europe & add more routes, Belfast is on there radar. It also was reported at the start of the this year that possble middle eastern investers was at the BFS along with airport head & management in what looks to be a tour of the airport. BFS needs a lot of upgrades, I think the last time the terminal got expaneded was in the 2006. But BFS still uses the same check in, security & Air Bridges from the 1990s a bit out of date. Plus BFS is getting busier & not coping with it well. Thanks to EasyJet & Ryanair numbers for BFS have shot up & a big demand for International routes which are not being served. Most poeple from Northern Ireland who fly will go to Dublin for US or Middle East. QR may think it can get thoses passenger numbers so instead of travelling 2 hours by car to Dublin for your flight you can drive from Belfast town centre to BFS in 30 minutes. Maybe thats way they have ordered the A321LR which would be a good test aircraft to see if there is demand.
 

Ryan Kirkpatrick

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Would BFS need to cater to a Middle Eastern Airlines needs more or are they already well prepared? (such as rail links, lounges etc)

BFS is hopeing that the nearby railway line will have a station build for the airport but the airport does have one lounge. BFS may need to cater to Middle East Airlines.
 

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At the moment i'd have thought that any ME3 airline would want certain things in place at BFS first before committing and they maybe holding back because of no government in Northern Ireland at the moment.
 

Ryan Kirkpatrick

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BFS really needs it tbh. Not much about the airport has really changed just the viewing gallary & more bars back in 2015.

Since sadly Thomas Cook gone will TUI add BFS to Orlando or could VS add extra flight to Orlando. If Qatar Airways deos start at BFS I will book to fly over to get film the 1st flight in.
 

Jerry

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Long haul wise it will be interesting to see what happens will BFS, there is no APD on direct flights but that doesn't seem to be enough to attract the routes. I do wonder if the NI government not being in place has effected their route development on that front. With Virgin i wonder if they'll go 747 for the season or just be happy with higher yeilds.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Didn't think there were routes to Qatar, New York and Boston. Any money would actually be to get such routes started.

A few years ago the NI Government tried to provide United Airlines (or it might have been Continental before they joined/were taken over by United) with £9 million of state aid to keep the Belfast-Newark service running. Unsurprisingly it was deemed illegal state aid and the offer had to be withdrawn. We still don't know how closely the UK will be tied to EU regulations post-Brexit (if at all) or whether the EU will allow some flexibility for its member states as they recover from the effects of Covid.

Either way the failed Newark initiative might suggest a considerable sum would be needed to get all three routes off the ground (literally).
 

Jerry

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No doubt there would be a considerable subsidy. You'd have thought that Aer lingus would be a good option but they are going to Manchester so potentially maybe they'll try and tempt jetblue instead.
With Doha i wonder if a shared service with Cardiff could be possible considering demand may not be enough for direct for either airport at the moment.
 
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