Thread: Bristol-5
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Old 5th Oct 2017, 21:28
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Brunel to Concorde
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Virtute et Industria, et Sumorsaete Ealle
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Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways chief's faith in Cardiff Airport service - BBC News

Earlier this week Qatar Airways’ CEO Akbar Al Baker provided an interesting insight into his airline’s decision to opt for CWL rather than BRS.

He said he resisted “very strong arguments” from his planning team that there would not be enough passengers for a CWL daily service. He believes he will be proved right in opting for CWL instead of BRS. He says that Wales is a “huge developing state” and he stressed the importance of connecting the people of Wales and the South West with the rest of the world.

Mr Al Baker said he had been under “immense pressure” from ministers, diplomats and Cardiff Airport to operate from Wales. He didn’t make it clear whether they were Welsh Government ministers or Westminster ministers, although given the Welsh government’s understandable involvement in the process it was probably their ministers in the main, albeit the Westminster government’s Welsh Secretary might well have played a part too.

The CEO concluded, "We had competition between Wales and Bristol and Wales won.” That suggests to me that he saw things as between a city region and an entire country.

The CWL CEO Deb Barber said that there is a market of 1.4 million people in Wales and the ‘West Region’ who fly to the Middle East from other airports.

From his comments Mr Al Baker included the South West market as part of his calculations, perhaps a vital part. Ms Barber uses the term ‘West Region’ which is synonymous with West of England and usually taken to mean Greater Bristol and its hinterland - an area roughly analogous with the former county of Avon together with nearby bits of west Wiltshire and nearby bits of the now emasculated counties of Somerset and Gloucestershire.

I imagine that the West of England is the area of England that Qatar and CWL will target intensively.
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