25 July, 2023

Three major Middle Eastern airlines have started flights to Birmingham Airport



Three major Middle Eastern airlines have started flights to Birmingham Airport this month in what its chief executive called “a glimpse into our future.” The trio of airlines have vastly expanded the range of destinations now available from the airport, either directly or with one stop.

Saturday July1 - Emirates brought back its iconic 615-seater A380 ‘superjumbo,’ adding capacity on its popular twice-daily Dubai service.
Sunday July 2 – Saudia, the national flag carrier of Saudia Arabia, began flying thrice-weekly to and from Jeddah, its vibrant second city and commercial centre.
Thursday July 6 - Qatar Airways returned to BHX, following a three-year absence, with daily services to Doha.
 

Nick Barton, chief executive of Birmingham Airport, said: “This is a glimpse into our future ... World-class airlines like Qatar Airways, Emirates and Saudia serving the global gateway of the West Midlands as we eagerly await the arrival of the new HS2 railway, which will make BHX the journey time equivalent of London’s zone 5. 

“The West Midlands region is 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. 



“Customers travelling for business, leisure, family, and religious purposes will benefit from our best-ever direct Middle Eastern connectivity. While for some, Doha, Jeddah, or Dubai will be the destination, others will head on to one of the many cities offered on each of these airlines’ onward networks, including Australasia, Africa, Asia and North and South America.” 

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “We all know how important global connections are to the West Midlands economy, and so I am delighted that Qatar Airways have returned to Birmingham Airport. The daily direct flights to Doha being offered by Qatar Airways comes on top of the return of Emirates’ iconic A380 for their daily flights to Dubai, and Saudi’s new thrice-weekly Jeddah service. These new services and investment are not only a big economic boost to the region as our global ties grow, but they’re also a significant vote of confidence in the future of the West Midlands from three of the world’s biggest airlines.” 





Over the past five years (2017 to 2022), the West Midlands has attracted 771 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects - the strongest FDI performance outside of London and the Southeast. In the same period the West Midlands region has created more than 28,000 new jobs from FDI, second only to London. Job creation levels are now at pre-Covid levels, and this growth is expected to continue through 2023 and beyond.  

BHX plays a key role in the economy of the West Midlands. In 2022 its economic contribution (GVA - gross value added) stood at £1.5bn with 30,900 jobs (direct and indirect) supported. By 2033, BHX forecasts annual customer numbers to grow from 12m to 18m, by which time its GVA will be £2.1bn and supported jobs will be 34,400.  

Among the customers using the three Middle Eastern airlines’ BHX services will be students. A recent study jointly published by the Universities UK International, the Higher Education Policy Institute and Kaplan International with London Economics revealed that of the £42bn impact of international students to the UK economy, £3bn is generated in the West Midlands.