The new double-daily Gatwick service of Qatar Airways which launched this week is a permanent service, the Chief Executive office of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker has told Business Traveller.
The service was announced in March of this year.
It launched this week and is operated with a B787 Dreamliner aircraft.
Over the summer, flights to London Gatwick will further increase to 16 services per week on the popular route, with the route having 14 flights weekly year-round.
The slots for the new service came from British Airways owner IAG which had acquired them from Monarch.
There had been rumours that they were only being leased for a short period until British Airways had the aircraft to use them, but the Qatar Airways Chief said this was not the case.
“An airline is an expensive business. It’s not just about showing a tail at the airport.”
Al Baker said the reason for the rumours was because “not all of the flights had yet been loaded into the system” but the Gatwick service was “not just for the season.”
Al Baker declined to say what the commercial arrangement was with IAG with regards to the slots.
In addition, Al Baker confirmed that the airline was intending to fly to Belfast International, although he would not say when this would happen or with what frequency,
This summer Qatar Airways will operate 95 flights to the U.K. per week, including six daily departures to London Heathrow, 16 weekly departures to London Gatwick and Manchester, and daily flights to Cardiff and Edinburgh, alongside seven flights per week to Birmingham.
The service from Gatwick is operated by a two-class Qatar Airways B787 Dreamliner with 232 seats in economy and 22 seats in business class.
Other new routes include Luxembourg, Tallinn, Estonia; Valletta, Malta; Cebu and Davao, Philippines; Langkawi, Malaysia; Da Nang, Vietnam; Bodrum and Antalya, Turkey; Mykonos, Greece and Málaga, Spain.
Doha – London Gatwick Flight Schedule:
Doha (DOH) to London Gatwick (LGW) QR 327 departs 08:30, arrives 13:30 daily
Doha (DOH) to London Gatwick (LGW) QR 329 departs 02:10, arrives 07:10 daily
Doha (DOH) to London Gatwick (LGW) QR 331 departs 15:00, arrives 20:00 Fri, Sat (from 15 Jun to 29 Sep)
London Gatwick – Doha Flight Schedule:
London Gatwick (LGW) to Doha (DOH) QR 328 departs 15:25, arrives 00:05 daily
London Gatwick (LGW) to Doha (DOH) QR 330 departs 09:00, arrives 17:40 daily
London Gatwick (LGW) to Doha (DOH) QR 332 departs 21:30, arrives 06:10 Fri, Sat (from 15 Jun to 29 Sep)