Qatar Airways suspends scheduled flights to London Gatwick

Carrier can 'no longer sustain the route for commercial reasons', CEO says; flights to be suspended from May 31
Qatar Airways suspends scheduled flights to London Gatwick
FLIGHTS STOPPED: Qatar Airways has suspended its scheduled flights to London Gatwick airport due to commercial reasons (Getty Images)
By Shane McGinley
Wed 02 Mar 2011 05:02 PM

Doha-based Qatar Airways is to suspend its scheduled flights to London Gatwick airport from May 31, claiming it can “no longer sustain the route for commercial reasons,” the carrier’s CEO confirmed in a statement.

“We are extremely sad to be losing London Gatwick from our network. It’s been an incredible seven years since we launched the non-stop Gatwick services,” said Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker.

“Following a thorough review and analysis over the past 12 months, we concluded that we could no longer sustain the route for commercial reasons,” he added.

The final flight to London’s second largest airport in the south of the British capital will operate on May 31.

The five star airline said in a statement that passengers booked on flights after May 31 to and from Gatwick will be provided with alternative travel options on other UK services operated by Qatar Airways, which include four daily flights to London Heathrow and double daily flights to Manchester.

The statement did not say whether there would be any job losses. However Al Baker added that “Gatwick-based staff have been informed of the decision and we are working very closely with them to help secure alternative positions at London Heathrow, Manchester and elsewhere within our network.”

Dubai’s Emirates Airline remains as the only Gulf-based carrier servicing London Gatwick.

Last summer, a study by investment bank UBS found that Middle East airlines account for 36 percent of aircraft traffic to and from Europe.

In terms of routes, the Dubai-London route generates the most traffic, while Doha-London was also in the top five.

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