Qatar Airways returned to Birmingham Airport for the first time in three years, reconnecting the UK’s second city to the airline’s unrivalled international network including more than 160 destinations.
Dignitaries including Gary Kershaw, UK & Ireland Country Manager - Qatar Airways, Andy Street - West Midlands Mayor, and Nick Barton - Birmingham Airport Chief Executive, welcomed flight QR33 from Doha on its arrival at Birmingham. Onboard, passengers were treated to a special menu including Beef Wellington, traditional British Sunday roast with Yorkshire pudding, Shepherd’s Pie, Chicken Tikka Masala and Eton mess. Qatar Airways cabin crew also provided mementos to passengers.
To help mark Qatar Airways’ global partnership with Formula 1 and the start of the highly anticipated British Grand Prix at nearby Silverstone on 7-9 July, F1 legend, David Coulthard, was also present at the airport event to extend their support for Qatar Airways’ return to Birmingham. The airline, which recently won World’s Best Business Class, for the tenth time, at the Skytrax 2023 World Airline Awards, is operating one flight a day, 7 days a week, to and from Birmingham Airport throughout the summer. The flights are operated with a Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner aircraft with 254 seats: 22 in Business Class and 232 in Economy Class.
The resumption of Birmingham services aligns with Qatar Airways’ ongoing global network expansion following the pandemic; by the end of 2023, the airline will have returned to 10 destinations, and added 4 more routes across two continents. People across the Midlands region can once again easily take advantage of Qatar Airways’ award-winning, 5-star services to visit friends and relatives abroad, experience unforgettable holidays all over the world, and sign up to Qatar Airways’ exclusive sports packages.
As part of its Formula 1 partnership, Qatar Airways and Qatar Airways Holidays now offer exclusive Formula 1 travel packages to the Qatar Grand Prix in October, which include return flights, hotels, gourmet hospitality, Paddock Club or Grandstand tickets and complimentary access to the Geneva International Motorshow held in Qatar this year for the first time. Gary Kershaw, UK & Ireland Country Manager, Qatar Airways, said: “We’re delighted to mark our return to Birmingham Airport, particularly on the eve of the British Grand Prix as Qatar Airways celebrates its first year as a Global Partner of Formula 1.
“Birmingham is one of the most exciting, vibrant and historic cities in the UK and we have long held a special affection for the people of this city and the Midlands region. We are proud to have played a part in bringing them to visit family and friends or conduct business abroad, as well as attend weddings and reunions all over the world. As our fifth UK gateway, our return to Birmingham signals Qatar Airways’ strong commitment to the UK and reaffirms the positive relationship between the UK and Qatar.
“We’re looking forward to offering our customers in the Midlands region even easier access to our award-winning onboard product and service and our vast global network, via the Middle East’s Best Airport, Hamad International Airport in Doha.” Nick Barton, Chief Executive, Birmingham Airport, said: “We are thrilled to see Qatar Airways back here in the West Midlands, a region currently on a strong trajectory of growth.
“We are home to six million people contributing to an economy the size of Hungary's and currently boasting Britain’s strongest foreign direct investment and job creation performance outside London and the Southeast. Daily flights to and from Doha will be well subscribed by customers travelling for business, leisure and family purposes. While for some Doha, with its iconic Hamad International Airport, is a destination in and of itself, others will head on to destinations in Qatar Airways’ impressive global network, which includes Australasia, Africa, Asia, North and South America.”
Andy Street, West Midlands Mayor, said, “We all know how important global connections are to the West Midlands economy, so I am delighted that Qatar Airways has returned to Birmingham Airport. The daily direct flights to Doha and beyond to Qatar Airways’ vast global network, are not only a big economic boost to the region as our global ties grow, but they’re also a significant vote of confidence in the future of the West Midlands.”
Former F1 driver, David Coulthard, said: “It’s exciting to see Qatar Airways – Formula 1®’s new Global Airline Partner – back at Birmingham, with the West Midlands region boasting a rich automotive history and on the doorstep of Britain’s F1 heartland. Nearby F1® team bases include Alpine, Aston Martin, Mercedes, Red Bull and Williams, meanwhile Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull base is next door to Birmingham Airport.
“Now the UK’s keen F1 fans will be able to fly Qatar Airways from Birmingham to Grand Prix events all over the world thanks to the airline’s large network.” Qatar Airways operates a large flying programme from five airports in the UK, which includes 47 weekly flights from London Heathrow, between 7 and 14 weekly flights from London Gatwick, 18 weekly flights from Manchester and 14 weekly services from Edinburgh.
In addition to the UK frequencies, the airline operates to and from Dublin with 14 weekly flights. As part of its codeshare agreement with British Airways, Qatar Airways passengers can choose to either fly via Hamad International Airport in Doha to the airline’s extensive network or fly direct to scores of destinations abroad on British Airways flights.