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September 24, 2017, 04:23:45 AM *
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Author Topic: New service from Cardiff Airport  (Read 279 times)
grahame
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« on: September 13, 2017, 05:55:23 PM »

Are these the first direct scheduled flights from Wales to Qatar?

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patch38
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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2017, 07:08:02 PM »

Nice! And Qatar are oneworld so I'll get my BA points...

The best thing about going to Doha is that your hold luggage tag says 'DOH' in an amusing Homer Simpson sort of way  Cheesy
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Timmer
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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2017, 08:24:16 PM »

Bit of a coup getting Qatar to fly from Cardiff rather than Bristol
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John R
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2017, 09:17:35 PM »

Flew with Qatar Airways to/from Kraków from Heathrow recently and their onboard service was much better than BA.
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Thatcham Crossing
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2017, 08:19:03 AM »

This is a coup for Cardiff Airport, and has involved the Welsh Government also I understand.

Yes, it's the first service from Cardiff to one of the Gulf hubs, and there has been speculation for a long time that one of the "MEB3" (Middle East Big 3, aka, Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways) would launch a Cardiff service to their respective hubs (Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Doha respectively).

When the service was announced a few months back, there was also speculation that it would launch initially with a smaller aircraft such as the Airbus A320 (like those that Qatar have recently been wet-leasing to BA during recent cabin crew strikes), or at a lower frequency, but it seems it will be a daily service on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner from the start.

This seems like a bold step, but using a widebody aircraft will also provide cargo capacity for the airline to sell, which can often make more money for them than the people who sit above it.

Will be interesting to see how this pans out. It's the first Gulf service from an airport in the SW of the UK, so could pull passengers from a wide catchment who otherwise face a ground-based journey to London (or maybe Birmingham) to access intercontinental flights (or a transfer on mainland Europe with someone like KLM who fly to Amsterdam from Cardiff and Bristol).

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WSW Frome
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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2017, 10:53:13 AM »

Cardiff has to be the choice for a larger aircraft. In essence only medium size aircraft can operate at Bristol especially if fully loaded.
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John R
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2017, 11:12:20 AM »

But the aircraft being used (Dreamliner) operates out of Bristol.
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Thatcham Crossing
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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2017, 11:40:05 AM »

It does indeed, to Caribbean destinations with TUI/Thomson (which are further away than Doha).

At the same time, Bristol is not optimal for long-haul/widebody ops with it's relatively short runway, taxiway restrictions, and maybe others that I'm not aware of.

We are also not privy to what Qatar may have been offered by Cardiff Airport and the Welsh Assembly in order to secure this operation.
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chrisr_75
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« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2017, 11:52:47 AM »

Cardiff has to be the choice for a larger aircraft. In essence only medium size aircraft can operate at Bristol especially if fully loaded.

The 787 Dreamliner is a medium sized aircraft, intended to replace the B757/767 series for 'long-thin' routes.

Cardiff airport, courtesy of the British Airways heavy maintenance hangar, can accommodate every passenger aircraft up to and including Airbus A380, the likes of which, I suspect, are the ultimate goal at Cardiff in the longer term.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2017, 01:29:41 PM »

Blimey that'll scare the sheep! 🐑
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Thatcham Crossing
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« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2017, 03:40:23 PM »

Cardiff's runway (at it's current dimensions) was there long before the BAMC facility, I am fairly sure.

The A380 is turning into something of a dead duck for Airbus. Orders have all but dried up, and even the majors that operate it can only really find use for it on their most high-density/established long-haul routes, to big hub airports. Singapore Airlines have just retired the first few they took delivery of, after only 11 years in service.

If it wasn't for Emirates (who operate nearly half of the A380's ever ordered), it would be in an even worse position.

I think we can safely say that there would never be a route out of Cardiff that could support it's capacity. Before the arrival of Qatar, there were rumours for years that Emirates would come to Cardiff (especially since they have proved able to make a success of operating a daily 777 out of Newcastle to Dubai for several years now) but that now seems even more unlikely.
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chrisr_75
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« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2017, 04:03:10 PM »

If I recall correctly, the runway was extended for the BA maintenance hangar to be able to handle everything in their fleet up to and including B747-400.

Agree the biggies have been a disaster - the 747-8 has been even more of a disaster for Boeing with only 115 airframes entering service since the launch. Airbus in comparison has managed 215 A380's.

Take your point about available market for A380/747 size aircraft, I guess a lot could depend on what happens to airport capacity in the southeast - if more capacity fails to materialise, surely Cardiff and Bristol along perhaps with Birmingham are in quite good positions positions to snap up some of that long haul market?
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