Qatar Airways boss says Cardiff "still not performing as we expected it to"

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Alex McWhirter 19 Jul 2018
at 10:48

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  • AMcWhirter

    The route was launched only a few months ago. And the original start date for a daily service was put back by six weeks.

    Now the CEO is saying it hasn’t lived up to expectations but his airline will give it time.

    Here’s our piece covering the delay to launching daily service.

    Qatar Airways delays full Cardiff service


    I always thought that Cardiff was a strange choice for Qatar to fly from. Looking at their airport passenger numbers they are well behind even the ‘second tier’ of airports in the UK such as Newcastle, Bristol and Belfast each of whom have significantly more foot traffic passing through. Bristol for me would have been a more logical choice with a greater catchment area both from the west country as well as Wales. It had also developed a much stronger, mature feeder network of routes from the regions to call upon which Cardiff does not have. The Qatar route always looked like an anomaly in its overall route network that Cardiff served. I was always anticipating that this route would fail for these reasons. Looks as if this will prove correct.


    Firstly kudos to Qatar for recognizing the Welsh capital’s potential.
    Now a vibrant 21st century tourist destination, with a lot of business growth in the south of Wales.

    For me, what’s let Cardiff and Qatar down is the airport itself . Another candidate for being knocked down and starting over……. And the crux of the issue, is starting over , means nearer to the capital city its serves !!

    The last time I was there, I enjoyed a drink in the redeveloped 2018 Cardiff Bay, jumped in a taxi , headed down a country road for 45 minutes and found ourselves in a1977 airport !!


    “Cardiff “still not performing as we expected it to””

    That’s a bit harsh – They beat Gloucester 31-30 in a thrilling close match and before that lost narrowly to Ospreys by 23-26. And of course they were crowned European Challenge Cup Final winners. Not a bad season.


    Why did Cardiff win the Qatar flights, well there was a deal done between the Welsh Assembly and Qatar , I saw something on BBC website, and the terms were not disclosed.

    Cardiff is my local airport, I live about 15 miles/30 minutes away, but rarely use the airport, and have to trudge up the M4 to get the frequencies and destinations I need. Dusseldorf for example is one flight a week from Cardiff on Flybe. Glasgow is one a day, but not every day.

    Two articles on Cardiff airport, and a new consultation.

    I only use it for about 10% of my travel needs, mostly Glasgow and Paris, due to schedules, KLM have a good service, but very expensive, and a minimum 2 night stay. Als airport is still very much a charter service airport, and does not think business user.

    The reductions on APD as mentioned in the article could be a big win for new services. The short term London City service was great, but killed by double APD, and high day trip parking costs, which meant the train won most of the time.

    I wish Qatar well, I will try and use that service soon.


    I used Cardiff recently, mainly due to me working In Cardiff and it ade logical sense. I travelled to Rhoose Cardiff International Station, sounds grand but is a open platform with a bus to the terminal. A lot less grand a station than it sounds. The airport was an experience…

    I think i’ll use Bristol next time, as there are services to the airport fro Cardiff.

    Good luck to Qatar, hope it works.


    The figure quoted at the press conference when the service launched was £5m.

    Alex McWhirter

    The Welsh government (which owns Cardiff airport) must have offered QR the sort of “help which persuaded it to opt for CWL rather than BRS.

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