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 30
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