Qatar Airways announced plans to cancel daily Doha-London Gatwick service on 01-Jun-2011 - see Route Changes Table for more information (TTG Live/Breaking Travel News/Routes Online/Travelmole, 01-Mar-2011). Qatar Airways stated it was leaving Gatwick after seven years “due to commercial reasons”. Qatar Airways has followed Etihad and Oman Air in withdrawing service from the airport, leaving only Emirates operating services to Gatwick from the Middle East. Etihad and Oman Air have moved their operations to London Heathrow while Qatar Airways will use the A330-200 aircraft to expand its presence at Manchester Airport. The carrier is increasing Doha-Manchester frequency from daily to twice daily from 01-Jun-2011. Qatar Airways’ departure is a setback for London Gatwick’s owners, Global Infrastructure Partners, who have been keen to attract international long-haul carriers to the airport. Emirates stated it remains committed to its three times daily Dubai-London Gatwick service.
Qatar Airways: “We are extremely sad to be losing London Gatwick from our network after serving the route for the past seven years. But following a thorough review and analysis over the past few months, we have concluded that we could no longer sustain the route for commercial reasons. While we continue to grow our business, developing the network further, we do it prudently, cautiously and carefully,” Akbar Al Baker, CEO. Source: Breaking Travel News, 01-Mar-2011.