Birmingham airport to get 8 flights per week to Doha by Qatar Airways

After the runway extension at Birmingham was finally opened in May 2014, the airport has been keen to get some long haul flights to justify it. Now from March 2016 there are to be 8 flights per week by Qatar Airways Boeing 787s between Birmingham and Qatar. There will be one flight per day, but two on Saturdays. This means there is capacity for 100,000 people per year to fly between Birmingham and Qatar. The 787s have 22 business class seats,and 232 economy seats (= 254 seats. Variants of 787 seating plans can be from 242 to 335 passengers, so this few passengers is not particularly fuel efficient). Birmingham says they are the 4th airport (with Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh) in the UK to have flights to Qatar. This is being sold as being a useful link for people from the Midlands wanting to watch the World Cup final in 2022. Birmingham airport’s CEO, Paul Kehoe is enthusiastic about “a choice of 152 destinations served by the airline, including South East Asia, China and Australasia” from Qatar, for “commercial and leisure links.”  With more Qatar flights from Edinburgh and Manchester, it will operate 71 flights per week between the UK and Qatar from March 2016. Again, reducing the alleged need for a new south east runway, for this sort of flight.



New Doha flights as Qatar Airways signs up with Birmingham Airport

BY GRAEME BROWN (Birmingham Post)

Eight flights a week will travel to Hamad International Airport, in the Qatari capital, from next March. Flights from Birmingham to Doha will be offered on Qatar Airways’ Boeing 787.

New flights from Birmingham to Doha have been announced after Qatar Airways became the latest airline signed up by the city’s airport .

Eight flights a week will travel to Hamad International Airport, in the Qatari capital , from next March, with Birmingham becoming just the fourth UK airport to offer them.

The tie-up, the first time Qatar has flown from Birmingham, means Brummies will be a single flight away from the World Cup final in 2022.

The flights mean more than 100,000 people a year will be able to head from the city to Doha, which is one of the world’s strongest economies.

Birmingham Airport chief executive Paul Kehoe said Qatar becomes the tenth new airline to announce or launch from the city this year.

He added: “Not only will our passengers have the choice of flying with the award winning carrier to Doha’s state-of-the-art hub Hamad International Airport, they will have a choice of 152 destinations served by the airline, including South East Asia, China and Australasia.”

The Qatar Airways flights will begin on March 30 and will fly every day of the week and twice on Saturdays.

Currently, the UK’s only direct flights to Doha are from London Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh.

While the potential for a World Cup visit will interest many, it is Birmingham’s business credentials which attracted the airline.

Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker said as this was home to the largest concentration of businesses outside of London, boasting 34,285 companies including over 700 international firms, it was the right place for the airline.

He said: “We are delighted to announce Birmingham as Qatar Airways’ fourth destination in the United Kingdom from March 2016. This additional route strengthens Qatar Airways’ commitment to the regions across the UK and will create new commercial and leisure links between the city of Birmingham and the 152 destinations served by the airline.”

The route will be operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner which has 22 seats in business class and 232 economy class seats.

It opens up onward flights to places like Pakistan, Thailand Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangkok and Hong Kong.

Qatar Airways UK and Ireland country manager Richard Oliver said: “The addition of Birmingham to the Qatar Airways network marks an important milestone in our commitment to the UK market. Following our recent increase in services to both Edinburgh and Manchester, Qatar Airways will operate a total of 71 flights a week between the United Kingdom and Qatar from March 2016.”

Schedule between Doha and Birmingham from March 30th 2016.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday

Doha (DOH) to Birmingham (BHX) departure 1.25am arrival 6.45am

Birmingham (BHX) to Doha (DOH) departure 9.15am arrival 6.05pm

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday

Doha (DOH) to Birmingham (BHX) departure 7.30am arrival 12.50pm

Birmingham (BHX) to Doha (DOH) departure 3pm arrival 11.50pm




American Airlines to launch direct flights to New York from Birmingham

Birmingham Airport says it will have a daily service to JFK New York, by American Airlines, from next spring. It hopes to have nearly 100,000 seats on the route, per year. There is already a route from Birmingham to Newark, by United Airlines. The route is likely to be used by more people on leisure trips, than business, though some American tourists may come to places like Stratford and further afield. But the airport CEO Paul Kehoe said: “Last year, the West Midlands exported £4.5 billion worth of goods to North America and has the largest trade surplus with North America of any UK region… etc etc.” This is seen as the first test of the business model of the runway extension. The route will be operated by a Boeing 757 aircraft with 22 Business Class seats and 160 Main Cabin seats. Whether or not this new service actually needs the new runway extension, or could have managed on the old runway, is a moot point. 757s can use Luton’s runway (2160 metres), and Birmingham’s was 2,650 metres before the recent 400 metre extension, to now be 3,050 metres long. So justifying the extension?

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Birmingham delighted to get daily flight to India, largely for tourism and VFR

Birmingham airport’s is encouraged by a decision by Air India to increase the number of flights between Birmingham, Delhi and Amritsa from 4 per week to 7 per week. This will start from November, when its 18th Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft is inducted into service. Birmingham has now had direct flights to India for one year, after having none for 5 years. Though some passengers are on business, the majority are tourists and people visiting friends and relatives in India. Having three more flights per week will mean an extra 1,500 seats a week, as the Air India Dreamliners have 256 seats (256 x 3 x 2 = 1,5360. Paul Kehoe, Birmingham Airport’s Chief Executive, said “The West Midlands receives more foreign direct investment from India than any other region outside of London and Birmingham’s VFR (visiting friends and family) market grew by 71% in 2013, now attracting more visitors from India than any English city other than London.” The runway extension, that opened in April, is enabling more flights to longer haul destinations. The flight path trials, due to the runway extension, are causing real concern and distress to those south of the airport, now finding themselves seriously overflown.

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Birmingham Airport wildly optimistic in anticipating 8,000 jobs from its runway extension

April 11, 2014

David Cameron has visited Birmingham airport, and effusively welcoming the announcement that 8,000 new jobs would be created, principally as a result of the long-awaited runway extension, with anticipated direct links to destinations like the West Coast of America and China. Shamelessly linking the airport jobs announcement with totally unrelated Government tax-cutting measures, the PM boomed: “The announcement of 8,000 jobs from Birmingham Airport is more great news in a week when we are cutting tax for 26 million hard-working people and taking over three million people out of income tax altogether.” Paul Kehoe used the PM’s visit for his PR purposes. Kehoe says by 2020 he forecasts Birmingham airport will have 15 million passengers a year, up from 9 million now. He claims this will create 4,000 jobs on-site and a further 4,000 in the immediate supply chain (doubtful figures, generally involving much double counting and optimism). “Politicians and business leaders are very good at talking the talk, but not always so assiduous at walking the walk.”

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