Part of a bigger expansion to their network, the awarded Qatar Airways will be taking a big step into Australia’s most competitive travel market with daily flights between Sydney and Doha beginning from this week. Announced at a press conference earlier this week, the Oneworld member is set to bring AUD$240 million to the local economy each year with this move, opening up the third Australian gateway for the Gulf carrier.
“Australia is a destination on everyone’s wish list and I hope that by launching our new direct service to Sydney we can help even more visitors discover this spectacular country. With the addition of Sydney, and Adelaide later this year, we will double our capacity to and from Australia in the first half of 2016,” said Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker. “This swift and significant increase in service demonstrates our commitment to the Australian market and to our Australian passengers, as we offer them the opportunity to fly in comfort onwards to more than 150 worldwide destinations.”
Beginning with Melbourne in 2009, and then Perth in 2012, Qatar Airways has been steadily edging into the Australian travel market to compete with fellow Gulf carriers Emirates and Etihad. The aforementioned use a A380 superjumbos, but Qatar will be serving this new route with Boeing 777-300ER, featuring fully-flat business class beds, the same which have been enjoyed on the Melbourne route for seven years now, with 78 inches of seat pitch. Also featured on board: an impressive 3,000+ entertainment options on individual screens in all classes.
This new route opening up means that around 3,000 new jobs will be created for New South Wales, in addition to the millions of dollars in tourism and cargo freight that will be injected into the local economy. Qatar Airways Cargo is the third largest international cargo carrier, already carrying 301 tonnes of freight in the belly hold of its passenger aircraft into and out of Perth and Melbourne per week.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Qatar Airways to Sydney Airport. Qatar Airways is a three-time Skytrax Airline of the Year winner and will provide passengers with more choice, a quality product and seamless connectivity through Doha’s new Hamad International Airport to destinations around the world,” stated Sydney Airport Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kerrie Mather. “It will also foster trade, providing greater air cargo capacity and access to the Middle East. Australian exports to Doha grew by 23 per cent last year, and the State of Qatar’s high demand for livestock, cereal, meat, dairy products and crops provides a significant opportunity for Australian exporters.”
The hub Sydneysiders on this route will travel to, Hamad International Airport in Doha, is a modern airport that’s less than two years old, built with more than 40,000 square metres of retail space and restaurants, featuring more than 70 retail and 30 food and beverage outlets, as well as a 25-metre swimming pool, gym, hotel, and spa. The average connection time is just 90 minutes here, offering passengers comfortable and efficient transit.
Flight QR909 will depart Sydney at 10:20am each day and arrive in Doha at 5:05pm the next day, with onward connections to London and Europe. QR908 will depart Doha at 8:10pm each day for a 6:05pm arrival into Sydney. For more information head to qatarairways.com.
Image: Qatar Airways.