Qatar Airways Grows Frequencies to Barcelona

Gulf hub carrier Qatar Airways is to boost the frequency of its flights to Barcelona from its Hamad International Airport hub in Doha from February next year as it ramps up frequencies across its European network to meet increasing passenger demand. The airline will grow the route to a double daily frequency, which will complement its ten weekly flights to the capital Madrid.

WORLD ROUTES 2017 will take place in Barcelona, Catalonia, hosted by Aeroports de Catalunya. It will be held in the hugely impressive International convention centre, Fira De Barcelona between September 23-26, 2017. Read the official release.

Qatar Airways made its debut in the Spanish market in 2005 and has seen continual growth over the subsequent nine years. It initially introduced flights in December 2005 to Madrid on a three times weekly basis, growing to a daily operation from December 2009 and ten times weekly from November 2014. The Barcelona route was introduced in June 2010 with a daily schedule and grew to a ten times weekly offering from January 2013. The airline uses a Boeing 777-300ER on the Madrid route and Airbus A330-200 on the link to Barcelona.

The frequency growth will see Qatar Airways boost capacity to Barcelona by 32.1 per cent in 2015, while total capacity into Spain will increase 30.4 per cent to almost 360,000 seats in each direction. According to MIDT data, the airline carried an estimated 458,000 passengers on its flights to and from Spain last year – around 244,000 from/to Barcelona and approximately 214,000 from/to Madrid – with loads of over 80 per cent on both routes; approaching 90 per cent on the link to the Spanish capital.

In our analysis, below, we look at passenger demand on air services between Doha and Spain, a market currently exclusively served on a non-stop basis by Qatar Airways, providing enhanced connectivity for the oneworld member carriers.

Data provided by Sabre

“As a rapidly expanding global airline, it is crucial that we not only support new destination launches, but also add to the existing capacity across our network. This, in turn, provides passengers with an additional level of connectivity and choice when travelling the globe, facilitated by seamless transfers through our new five-star hub and home, Hamad International Airport,” said His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, chief executive officer, Qatar Airways Group.

Alongside the growth in Spain, Qatar Airways will also boost frequencies on existing flights to destinations in Scandinavia and the UK and has already announced plans to grow its services to Istanbul (see ‘Qatar Airways Boosts Flights to Istanbul with Second Sabiha Gökçen Rotation’).

Matching its frequency growth to Barcelona, the airline will grow its Manchester route from ten times weekly to a double daily schedule from February 15, 2015, while Stockholm and Copenhagen will see services increase from a daily schedule to ten and eleven times weekly from the start of February 2015, respectively.

The Manchester to Doha service, which commenced in 2003, recently celebrated a decade of scheduled operations. With the addition of Edinburgh in May this year, Qatar Airways now serves a total of three destinations in the UK including London Heathrow, and is responding to growing demand by increasing its service to Manchester from 10 to 14 flights per week.

Richard Maslen

Richard Maslen has travelled across the globe to report on developments in the aviation sector as airlines and airports have continued to evolve and…