Qatar Airways resumes operations at Birmingham Airport

Qatar Airways has announced the resumption of daily flights to and from Birmingham Airport and Qatar’s network, reaffirming its commitment to the UK.

The airline will operate daily flights throughout the summer season using a Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner aircraft with a seating capacity of 254, including 22 Business Class and 232 Economy Class seats. This move aligns with Qatar Airways’ global expansion plans, as it aims to return to 10 destinations and add four new routes across two continents by the end of 2023.

The resumption of services from Birmingham allows people in the Midlands region to access Qatar Airways’ premium services, enabling them to visit friends and family abroad, explore various destinations worldwide, and take advantage of the airline’s sports packages. Additionally, as part of its partnership with Formula 1, Qatar Airways now offers exclusive travel packages to the Qatar Grand Prix in October, providing customers with combined flights, accommodation, gourmet hospitality, and event access.

Gary Kershaw, UK & Ireland Country Manager, Qatar Airways, said, ‘We’re delighted to mark our return to Birmingham Airport, particularly on the eve of the British Grand Prix as Qatar Airways celebrates its first year as a Global Partner of Formula 1.

‘Birmingham is one of the most exciting, vibrant and historic cities in the UK and we have long held a special affection for the people of this city and the Midlands region. We are proud to have played a part in bringing them to visit family and friends or conduct business abroad, as well as attend weddings and reunions all over the world.

‘As our fifth UK gateway, our return to Birmingham signals Qatar Airways’ strong commitment to the UK and reaffirms the positive relationship between the UK and Qatar. We’re looking forward to offering our customers in the Midlands region even easier access to our award-winning onboard product and service and our vast global network, via the Middle East’s Best Airport, Hamad International Airport in Doha.’

Nick Barton, Chief Executive, Birmingham Airport, said, ‘We are thrilled to see Qatar Airways back here in the West Midlands, a region currently on a strong trajectory of growth. We are home to six million people contributing to an economy the size of Hungary’s and currently boasting Britain’s strongest foreign direct investment and job creation performance outside London and the Southeast.

‘Daily flights to and from Doha will be well subscribed by customers travelling for business, leisure and family purposes. While for some Doha, with its iconic Hamad International Airport, is a destination in and of itself, others will head on to destinations in Qatar Airways’ impressive global network, which includes Australasia, Africa, Asia, North and South America.’

Singapore speeding up tourism with addition to Formula one event

Affected by a slump in the number of tourists to the city state, Singapore is boosting tourism initiatives with new additions to existing attractions such as Formula 1 racing events.

The state is making efforts to encourage tourists to visit Singapore and spend more at new attractions being offered by the state. New marquee events and attractions such as the Formula One night race have been planned to encourage visitor arrivals. S Iswaran, trade minister who oversees the tourism industry, said that tourist arrival to the city state is forecast to increase to 17 million. Further, tourism spending is expected to increase to SGD30bn by 2015.

Recently, the state had opened two casino resorts that include a downtown convention centre. It has also opened a Universal Studios theme park, which is believed to have increased the number of tourists visiting the city. The country expects the number of tourists to rise as much as 9.8 per cent to 14.5 million in 2012.

Iswaran said, ‘Compounding at double-digit rates for your visitor arrivals are OK in short bursts, but on a long-term basis, it will have its limits. The emphasis is on yield where tourism receipts grow at a faster rate.’

Singapore’s Formula One night race, which has been running for five years, attracts about 40,000 visitors to the island annually. The event has prominent companies such as Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (ST) and UBS AG (NYSE: UBS) involved in it, and entertainment is a key component of the race, Iswaran said.

This year, Formula One tickets would also offer access to concerts by performers such as Maroon 5, Katy Perry and Jay Chou. The state is expecting the majority of tourists for this week from Australia, the UK and the US.

The tourism minister also said that negotiations to extend Singapore’s contract for another five years are under way with the Formula One Administration.