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Fri 20 Nov 2015 01:33 AM

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Qatar Airways said to eye new flights to Gatwick, Ireland

Carrier's UK chief says airline sees 'huge potential for growth' in country as it upgrades Heathrow service

Qatar Airways said to eye new flights to Gatwick, Ireland

Qatar Airways is reportedly looking at introducing its first flights to London Gatwick airport as well as services to Ireland as part of expansion plans across Britain.

With slots at London’s crowded Heathrow hub tough to come by, flying to Gatwick would be the next best option, said Richard Oliver, country manager for the UK and Ireland, in comments published by Bloomberg.

His comments come as Qatar Airways this week boosted capacity at Heathrow, where it has six daily flights, by introducing a Boeing 787 with 254 seats.

The Doha-based airline is also looking at serving southwest England and possibly another Scottish airport, Oliver was quoted as saying.

“We still see huge potential for growth in Britain. There’s a stable economy, a valuable currency and a firm market,” he said, adding that flights to Ireland could target either the capital Dublin or Belfast in Northern Ireland.

Oliver was quoted as saying that sales on a new route to Birmingham, which starts in March with eight weekly flights, are ahead of expectations.

He added that he would like to see triple-daily services to Birmingham as well as on its Manchester and Edinburgh routes.

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