Qatar Airways is to launch flights to Melbourne,
its first destination in Australia, on 6 December 2009.
The Doha-based airline will begin operating
three weekly services using a brand new Boeing 777-200 Long Range
aircraft to be delivered to the airline later this year.
Operations will quickly become daily early
in the New Year, following the delivery of a second long range
Boeing – the airline’s fourth – from the aircraft manufacturer’s
plant in Seattle, Washington.
“I know the travelling
public is eager for us to begin serving Australia and I’ve had
many people ask me about our direct routes to Melbourne and
Sydney. We’re finalising some details with regulatory authorities
in Australia, and once we’ve received the necessary aircraft from
Boeing, we will be ready to operate,” said Qatar Airways Chief
Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker.
“Qatar Airways already
has 4,000 frequent fliers in Australia that are part of our
loyalty programme, though the local market remains largely
untapped. The Australian economy was one of the few in the world
that grew in the first quarter of 2009, so this shows that the
market there is still very strong, and we believe there is
The new operation will connect
travellers from Australia to the United Kingdom and Europe with a
one-stop service and a planned one hour connection time in Doha.
From Qatar Airways’ hub in Doha, passengers can also link to
numerous destinations across South Asia, the Middle East and North
The Boeing 777-200 LR aircraft operating on the route will
offer a two-class configuration of 259 seats. In Business Class,
there are 42 seats
offering a pitch of up to 78 inches with each seat converting into
180-degree fully flat beds. With a 2–2–2 seat configuration,
Business Class passengers are assured of either a window or aisle
seat and plenty of space.
In Economy Class, the 217 seats offer space
up to 34 inches in a 3-3-3
In 2007, Qatar Airways placed orders for 14
Boeing 777-300ERs, six of the 777-200 Long Range variant and seven
777-200 freighters – all for scheduled delivery until mid-2010.
There are options for a further five Boeing 777 aircraft. Four
long range triple sevens will operate the Melbourne and Sydney
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