Qatar Airways touches down in Canberra

Qatar Airways is welcomed to Canberra. (Canberra Airport/Twitter)
Qatar Airways is welcomed to Canberra. (Canberra Airport/Twitter)

Qatar Airways has added a fifth Australian destination to its international network, with the inaugural flight to Canberra touching down on Monday morning.

Flight QR906, operated by Boeing 777-300ER A7-BEP, arrived at Canberra at about 0930 on Monday, after a short one-hour hop from Sydney that included a fly-past of the city prior to landing.

The aircraft, with Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker and other dignitaries on board, was greeted with an Airservices Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) monitor cross as it taxied to the terminal.

Canberra joins Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney in the oneworld alliance member’s Australian network.

9News reporter Aggie Bradshaw posted a video of the aircraft arriving on Twitter

Qatar Airways will serve Canberra as part of a Doha-Sydney-Canberra-Sydney-Doha routing, with the inaugural QF906 taking off from Doha just before 0800 local time on Sunday and landing in Sydney about 14 and a half hours later at a little after 0600 Monday morning.

Normally, QR906 is scheduled to have a 60-minute transit at Mascot. However, there appeared to be some delay with the service, as A7-BEP spent about two hours on the ground before taking off for the 128nm trip to Canberra.

Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER A7-BEP touches down at Canberra Airport. (Canberra Airport/Twitter)
Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER A7-BEP touches down at Canberra Airport. (Canberra Airport/Twitter)
Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER at Canberra Airport. (Canberra Airport/Twitter)
Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER at Canberra Airport. (Canberra Airport/Twitter)

Canberra Airport executive chairman Terry Snow welcomed the start of Qatar Airways’ services to the national capital.

“We appreciate Qatar Airways’ strong support for the nation’s capital,” Snow said in a statement on Monday.

“An airline of this stature will further boost Canberra’s reputation as a leading tourist destination, on the back of record numbers of international visitors coming in 2017, and Lonely Planet nominating the city a top three destination for 2018.”

The 777-300ER was scheduled to be on the ground for about four and a half hours in Canberra before operating the reciprocal QR907 to Doha, again via Sydney.

Qatar’s 777-300ERs feature 358 seats in a two-class configuration comprising 42 in business and 316 in economy.

The airline is Canberra Airport’s second international carrier.

Despite the start of Qatar Airways’ flights to Canberra, Singapore Airlines (SIA) remains the only carrier offering nonstop international services from the Australian capital, having commenced its four times weekly Singapore-Canberra-Wellington “Capital Express” offering with Boeing 777-200ERs in September 2016.

SIA will retain that distinction even after some network changes kick in from the start of May, when the airline drops its Canberra-Wellington tag flights and begins a triangular Singapore-Sydney-Canberra-Singapore routing daily with Boeing 777-300ER equipment.

Meanwhile, SIA planned to maintain flights to Wellington with a one-stop option from Singapore via Melbourne four days a week.

Qatar Airways has started Doha-Sydney-Canberra-Sydney-Doha flights. (Canberra Airport/Twitter)
Qatar Airways has started Doha-Sydney-Canberra-Sydney-Doha flights. (Canberra Airport/Twitter)

Comments

  1. Pontious says

    Possibly cost neutral when the parking charges at Sydney are considered, as well as avoiding the kerfuffle of towing on/off to a remote stand.

  2. Q says

    @Jim No bilateral capacity for brisbane. Airlines of Qatar have 21 frequencys into australia’s main 4 gateways and another 7 provided they countinue onto anther city other than the main 4 (1 of the reasons Qatar just lanuched cbr- syd-doh) if they had the bilateral capacity for Brisbane they would have launched it for now.
    in another note during the press conference today they said they where planning to bring the Q-Suite aircraft to canberra daily from june (not mentioning a date).

    i do hope this works well for Qatar and canberra tho. would be good to see canberra get more international routes (even if it does invole a domestic stop before going the international destination).

  3. Hutch says

    @Pontious – can’t really consider the cost of parking in Sydney, it is not an option for them. The comparison is the benefit of getting the 2nd flight to Sydney, worth the expense of the Canberra tag.

  4. AlanH says

    Yes, Canberra is of no consequence to Qatar. It’s simply a means of getting an additional flight into Sydney.

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