Qatar Airways returns to Gatwick

The oneworld alliance member has resumed service to London Gatwick after a month-long absence.

Qatar Airways has restored flights between Doha (DOH) and London Gatwick (LGW) a month after temporarily suspending the route.

The airline restarted service between the destinations on Dec. 14, providing 3X-weekly flights using a 254-seat Boeing 787-8 aircraft.

Operations between DOH and LGW were halted on Nov. 13 as England entered a period of national lockdown designed to curb the rising COVID-19 infection rate.

The restoration of the route means Qatar Airways will provide 55X-weekly flights to four UK gateways during December. As well as the LGW flights, the carrier will serve London Heathrow (LHR) 4X-daily, Manchester (MAN) 3X-daily and Edinburgh (EDI) 3X-weekly.

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However, routes to Birmingham (BHX) and Cardiff (CWL) remain suspended for the winter 2020/21 season.

“The resumption of London Gatwick services is a significant indicator of the resilience of the UK travel market, and we look forward to resuming more of our UK destinations to support the recovery of tourism and trade in the region,” Qatar Airways UK and Ireland country manager Gary Kershaw said.

Speaking to Routes in October, Kershaw said the airline intends to maintain its presence at LGW despite oneworld alliance partner British Airways’ (BA) decision to shrink its operations at the airport as part of a wider restructure.

BA has canceled all its short-haul flights from LGW until March next year, leaving it with 12 long-haul routes from the airport. 

“[Exiting Gatwick] is not on the agenda for the moment,” Kershaw said. “We launched Gatwick in 2018 and we went triple daily almost immediately on the route. It’s performed spectacularly well for us.”

Photo credit: London Gatwick Airport