Perth will have a second Airbus A380 operator from May 1 2018 when Qatar Airways upgauges its existing daily service from Doha to the world’s largest passenger aircraft.
Currently, the oneworld alliance member serves Perth from its Doha hub with Boeing 777-300ERs.
The change to the A380, which is configured with eight first, 48 business and 461 economy seats for a total of 517 seats, represented a 44 per cent lift in capacity for Qatar Airways to Perth.
It also means Qatar will offer passengers a first class option to and from Perth, given the 777-300ER has a two-class layout spread across business and economy.
Qatar senior manager for Australasia Adam Radwanski said the decision to bring the A380 onto the Perth-Doha route reflected passenger demand.
“We have seen continued demand and increased appetite for travel among the Western Australian market since we started flying this route in July 2012,” Radwanski said.
“Europe remains a key cornerstone of our network expansion plans, and Western Australians can look forward to going to both new and evergreen European cities with Qatar Airways on board our state-of-the-art ultra-modern aircraft.”
Perth will be the second Australian A380 destination for Qatar Airways, which started using the aircraft on its daily Doha-Sydney rotation in September 2016.
It also flies to Adelaide and Melbourne, as well as Auckland in New Zealand. From February 2018, Qatar will commence a new daily Doha-Sydney-Canberra service with Boeing 777-300ER equipment.
Qatar first flew to Perth in July 2012, first with Boeing 777-200LRs and then the larger 777-300ER. The airline is unable to add any additional frequencies to the four major Australian gateways of Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney as it has utilised all available capacity for Qatari flag carriers under the current bilateral air services agreement between Australia and Qatar.
Fellow Gulf carrier Emirates Airline was the first carrier to deploy the A380 to Perth in May 2015.