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Qatar Airways celebrates First Anniversary at Cardiff Airport

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Qatar Airways celebrates First Anniversary at Cardiff Airport
Qatar Airways, the multiple-award-winning airline, is celebrating its first anniversary connecting business and leisure customers from Cardiff Airport with destinations around the world.
Over the past year, the airline’s regular service to Doha has been part of the seven per cent jump in overall passenger numbers from Cardiff. Some of the most popular network destinations include Qatar, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka.
In celebration of its first anniversary, the Qatar Airways staff surprised lucky passengers with birthday cupcakes.
From 30th May, Qatar Airways will operate daily flights between Cardiff and Doha for the summer season, allowing passengers to travel to far-flung destinations including Australia and New Zealand in under 24 hours. Cardiff passengers will also benefit from Qatar Airways’ new economy class-onboard ‘Quisine’ branded menu, which will offer customers a greater focus on the use of local, fresh and healthy ingredients and larger portion sizes.

Gary Kershaw, Country Manager (UK & Ireland) at Qatar Airways, said: “We’re proud to be in Wales and are excited at the strong start to our partnership with Cardiff Airport. It’s a hugely exciting time for Qatar Airways. The demand from our UK destinations has never been stronger. That’s why this summer we’re providing our highest ever number of connections between the UK and the rest of the world.
“We want to thank Cardiff Airport and the Welsh Government for their continued support, as we look to offer new and exciting routes and destinations to customers across Wales and the South West.”

Deb Barber, CEO of Cardiff Airport, said: “It’s hard to believe that we have reached this remarkable one year milestone already.
“The introduction of a regular service between Cardiff and Doha has opened up a world of connectivity for customers across Wales and the South West of England. Direct flights to Qatar Airways’ hub in Doha creates onward connections to destinations across Australia, New Zealand, Asia and many more, all without the hassle of having to drive down the M4 to fly from London airports. This service has also re-affirmed Cardiff Airport as a key gateway to the United Kingdom, ideal for visitors, international students, business travellers and ex-pats alike.”

Roger Lewis, Chairman of Cardiff Airport, said: “The inaugural flight in May 2018 was a pivotal moment for Cardiff Airport, for Wales and the South West of England. The far reaching consequences of this service for our customers and businesses have proven to be transformational so far.
"I sincerely thank His Excellency, Mr. Akbar Al Baker, for the trust he and Qatar Airways have placed in us. I am proud of the team at Cardiff Airport who continue to deliver a world-class service with Qatar Airways for all of our passengers both visiting Wales and those travelling across the world.”

Minister for Economy and Transport Ken Skates said: “Since being purchased in 2013, Cardiff Airport has gone from strength to strength and has achieved a 60% increase in passenger numbers. The number of destinations has increased significantly, and the launch of a scheduled daily long-haul Qatar Airways service puts Wales more firmly on the world stage, in terms of attracting both business trade and travellers. Customers continue to demonstrate increasing confidence in the airport and its services.”
 

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#3
Well it appears to be doing OK otherwise I think we'd be discussing what went wrong by now. Long may it stay a success as it may be been used as a test case for other smaller regional airports.
 
#5
Well it appears to be doing OK otherwise I think we'd be discussing what went wrong by now. Long may it stay a success as it may be been used as a test case for other smaller regional airports.
That's true although NCL has had a daily Emirates flight to Dubai for about ten years and that hasn't led to other smaller airports seeing similar services.

They have done very wellout of CWL which a lot of ppl said they wont make a go of it and they wished it would close. Pax could be a bit higher but then a new route takes a time to build. I recon the cargo side is doing ok both ways. Well done to them.
Some people did pour scorn and the airline's CEO admitted that some of his senior colleages had doubts. My alter ego on the DP received some patronising 'advice' from one individual on that forum when I suggested that Qatar would go to CWL instead of BRS a few weeks before the official announcement was made in April 2017. I was accused of being a spotter who knew nothing. One thing I've never been is an aircraft spotter.

All the signs seem to point to the route performing satisfactorily. As we always say, loads are one thing but they don't tell the whole story about any route with any airline.
 
#6
Some people did pour scorn and the airline's CEO admitted that some of his senior colleages had doubts. My alter ego on the DP received some patronising 'advice' from one individual on that forum when I suggested that Qatar would go to CWL instead of BRS a few weeks before the official announcement was made in April 2017. I was accused of being a spotter who knew nothing. One thing I've never been is an aircraft spotter.
Many people were shocked by the decision including me! There also seemed quite a lot of people who wanted it to fail and gleefully seemed to delight in anything negative around it.
I have seen quite a few comments online by people connected to the aviation industry who effectively believe that the Welsh government stole the Qatar Airways service from Bristol and refuse to believe otherwise.
 
#7
I have seen quite a few comments online by people connected to the aviation industry who effectively believe that the Welsh government stole the Qatar Airways service from Bristol and refuse to believe otherwise.
The Qatar CEO gave a number of reasons for the CWL decision:

Operational - I presume he meant runway length and cargo possibilities.

Catchment - a suggestion that CWL's catchment was over 6 million with the implication that it is larger than BRS's which is obvious nonsense.

Other airports - BRS proximity to BHX and particularly to LHR with a propensity for BRS area travellers to use LHR in large numbers especially for long haul, which is undeniably true.

Relationship between Qatari and Welsh Governments - which would always carry more weight than a relationship with local councils that was all BRS has to offer. I also gained the impression that with Qatar and Wales both being small countries, albeit Qatar is very much richer, there was/is an affinity between the two.

I suppose taking the last reason in isolation it would be easy for some people to suggest that the WG's influence played a part but as can be seen there were a number of other factors that also had a bearing on the decison.
 
#8
As far as I am aware Bristol no longer has cargo facilities, is this correct?

If this is correct then no way was Qatar Airways going to operate to Bristol as the revenue from cargo boosts the revenue from the route.

Saying that I think the outbound cargo load from Cardiff has dropped substantially.

I hope to attend the ACC meeting on the 29th May and will aim to raise the subject there.
 
#9
No freight ops at BRS. They were transferred to Avonmouth a few years ago.. Since then the operation was transferred to Skybound in Avonmouth. They do night runs to Heathrow and East midlands.
 
#10
By coincidence there has been a discussion about cargo on an LBA thread over the past few days, with similar sentiments being expressed as that about BRS, ie if there is no or just a small freight component at the airport how can it attract wide-long haul scheduled airlines?

I mentioned BRS and a LBA member who seems knowledgeable about the airline freight industry posted this:

According to vol 3 of the HMRC tariff there are two transit sheds at Bristol. One operated by Bristol airport ltd and the other by WFS. So definitely thw (sic) customs freight facilities.
The CAA stats for 2018 showed 7 tonnes of freight carried at BRS during the year: 2 tonnes on scheduled flights within the EU; 2 tonnes on charter flights within the EU; 3 tonnes on scheduled domestic flights.

The 2017 annual total was 10 tonnes.

Nevertheless, this is small beer and, as with LBA, it seems unlikely that without a significant freight facility BRS would struggle to get a long-haul scheduled carrier.

I looked at 2006, the first full calendar year of the Continental scheduled route between Bristol and Newark, and 32 tonnes were carried, double the previous year, although how much of this went by the CO flights is not clear. From this figure it seems that freight was not a major consideraiton for Continental because in 2005 CWL handled over 2,500 tonnes and slightly less in 2006.

We shan't know, but it could be that if all other considerations between BRS and CWL had been equal when Qatar was pondering a Severnside route (it seems they weren't from my earlier post), the freight situation might have swayed the decision on its own.
 
#12
I think at CWL TUI brings in fruit sometimes from Gran Canaria so it's possible that they may do the same at BRS?
I’m not sure of fruit however I know some perfumes have been brought in during the past.

Also I remember magazines being transported out on bmibaby flights but can’t remember the destination.

You also have the odd pet or two that head out when Brits buy homes abroad.

There used to of course be the mail plane which we inherited from BRS and the TNT nightly flight. We also had a FedEx ATR which was the fallout from the ink cartridge scandal where CAA said the EMA facility couldn’t cope and needed to change their practices before allowing full capacity to resume.
 
#13
Interjection from LBA forum user- hope you can help!

BRS
As CAA figures are quoted I assume that there is at least one Transit Shed at BRS. This is because the CAA only records 'flown' freight vand flown freight can only be accepted if there's a transit shed. You might find that the move to Avonmouth that was mentioned was only the Customs/BF staff and that the airport retained its Transit Shed.

If its anything like LBA there will be many more import kilos trucked in from Heathrow for Customs clearance and many more trucked in the other direction. Either way BRS gets the distinction of being the consigning or destination airport in the airlines stats, which by the way reflect trucked freight.

CWL
The Customs tariff shows there to be a Transit Shed at CWL operated by Penauille Servisair however this is not up to date as I think they were taken over by Swissport. Can anyone tell me if the transit shed still exists and if so who operates it? Again I assume there must be one otherwise Qatar would not be able to carry inbound cargo- or is it embargoed?
 
#14
CWL
The Customs tariff shows there to be a Transit Shed at CWL operated by Penauille Servisair however this is not up to date as I think they were taken over by Swissport. Can anyone tell me if the transit shed still exists and if so who operates it? Again I assume there must be one otherwise Qatar would not be able to carry inbound cargo- or is it embargoed?
CWL freight is handled by Raven Express I believe.
 
#15
The complete side if BRS freight was moved to Avonmouth. BRS opened a warehouse down there. Thr freight warehouse that was at the airport was demolished and I think the new terminal was built on the site.The Avonmouth warehouse I think did not operate very long with the business sold to Skybound.
 
#16
CWL
I will phone Raven to see if they take all the cargo from Qatar and other flights into their own transit shed.

BRS
All I can think then is the freight figures are for EU traffic, but there again who is scanning the cargo if theres no cargo handling agent? Think I may have to phone the airport and ask the question.

Thanks for all your help.
 
#17
Cargo is handled by Raven Express at CWL and that includes Qatar and any other airline , I work there I know this , they my get a separate handler in to ship it from the airport to it’s destination, but usually Raven transport it
 
#19
They have done very wellout of CWL which a lot of ppl said they wont make a go of it and they wished it would close. Pax could be a bit higher but then a new route takes a time to build. I recon the cargo side is doing ok both ways. Well done to them.
This is what I have found elsewhere which doesn't quite suggest the route is doing very well quite yet. Not sure how we can tell whether cargo is doing well?

March 2019 around 65%
February 2019 around 54%
January 2019 around 59%

2018 average around 53%
September 2018 around 58%
August 2018 around 74%
July 2018 around 65%
 
#20
This is what I have found elsewhere which doesn't quite suggest the route is doing very well quite yet. Not sure how we can tell whether cargo is doing well?

March 2019 around 65%
February 2019 around 54%
January 2019 around 59%

2018 average around 53%
September 2018 around 58%
August 2018 around 74%
July 2018 around 65%
Is that load factors?
 

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