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Qatar Airways to launch Flights to Melbourne on 6 December 2009

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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 demand.”

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 Africa.

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 configuration.

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 routes.

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