State-owned carrier Qatar Airways is looking at the possibility of launching flights from Ireland, to expand its European business.
According to the Irish Times, the Doha-based airline is considering Dublin or Belfast as a hub to fly from, to keep up with middle eastern rivals Etihad and Emirates, which both currently operate from Ireland.
Currently, Irish passengers flying with Qatar connect in Britain, particularly Heathrow Airport. Its country manager for the UK and Ireland Richard Oliver said that it is now looking at flying directly from Ireland.
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The airline currently operates from Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh airports in the UK, and is due to commence flying from Birmingham in March.