Qatar Airways is now running eight flights a week, with two on Saturdays, and its 250-seater Boeing 787 Dreamliner flew into Birmingham from Doha yesterday on its inaugural flight.
It was met with a traditional water-arch greeting from the airport’s firefighters.
The first return flights back to Doha this week are already fully booked. From the airline’s ultra-modern airport hub in Doha. Qatar Airways offers flights to 150 destinations worldwide, particularly in the Far East and the Australian region.
Birmingham Airport boss Paul Kehoe said: “This is another great vote of confidence from another major airline in the West Midlands. This aircraft represents an investment of £150 million even before Qatar Airways add all their bells and whistles.”
It comes just days after airline Emirates started using the huge double-decker Airbus A380 superjumbo on daily flights out of Birmingham.
The airport is hoping the arrival of Qatar, which already flies from Edinburgh, Heathrow and Manchester, will make it even more competitive and attract greater numbers of Midlands travellers who would otherwise look to catch their plane in London.
Airline chief commercial officer
Hugh Dunleavy said: “We see the UK as a strong economy and also see the potential for traffic out of Birmingham through our Doha hub to the Indian sub-continent and Australian region. The time was right for us.”
Qatar now runs 73 flights a week to the UK and is the world’s third biggest air cargo carrier.
The airline has also just opened up new routes including Doha to Adelaide and JFK.
Published on Express and Star.