Qatar Airways becomes Sydney Airport’s latest A380 operator

written by | September 19, 2016
Qatar Airways Airbus A380 A7-APE at Sydney Airport. (Sydney Airport)
Qatar Airways Airbus A380 A7-APE at Sydney Airport. (Sydney Airport)

Qatar Airways has boosted the capacity and product offering on its Sydney-Doha flights after upgauging its daily service to the Airbus A380.

The oneworld alliance member has switched the Sydney-Doha route from the Boeing 777-300ER to A380. The first flight of Qatar’s QR908 with the world’s largest passenger aircraft arrived in Sydney a little after 1900 on Friday, after a 13 and a half hour journey from its Doha hub.

The aircraft, A7-APE, was on the ground for about three hours before operating the reciprocal QR909 back to Doha.

Qatar Airways Airbus A380 A7-APE at Sydney Airport. (Qatar Airways)
The Qatar A380 has eight first, 48 business and 461 economy class seats. (Qatar Airways)
Qatar Airways Airbus A380 A7-APE at Sydney Airport. (Qatar Airways)
In addition to Sydney, Qatar also flies the A380 to London (Heathrow), Paris, Guangzhou and Bangkok, according to the airline’s website. (Qatar Airways)

The switch to the larger A380 represents a capacity increase of between 25 and 44 per cent, given the airline has configured the two-deck aircraft with 517 seats compared with either 412 or 358 seats on its 777-300ER fleet. The aircraft change also means Qatar is offering first, business and economy class to Sydney, while its 777-300ERs are configured with just business and economy.

“From the moment we inaugurated service to Sydney earlier this year, we have been welcomed with open arms,” Qatar chief executive Akbar Al Baker said in a statement.

“We are pleased to respond in kind, with the introduction of the A380 service to Sydney.”

Qatar began flights to Sydney in March. It also serves Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth.


Statistics from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) showed the carrier had average load factors of 60.5 per cent inbound and 89.1 per cent outbound on its Australian network in June.

This compared with 64 per cent inbound and 95.9 per cent outbound in June 2015, when Qatar’s Australian network comprised of just Melbourne and Perth services.

Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Emirates and Etihad offer with year-round A380 scheduled passenger service from Sydney. China Southern and Korean Air have operated the aircraft on a seasonal basis in recent times, while Asiana is scheduled to operate the A380 to Sydney on half a dozen days in November.

Etihad's A380 features the Residence, nine first seats, 70 business seats and 417 economy seats. (Seth Jaworski)
Etihad’s inaugural Sydney A380 arrival in June 2015. (Seth Jaworski)
Singapore Airlines will introduce a new design cabin on its 20th A380 from 2017. (Andrew McLaughlin)
Singapore Airlines flies either once or twice a day between Singapore and Sydney with the A380, depending on the time of year. (Andrew McLaughlin)
Qantas serves Dallas/Fort Worth, Dubai, Hong Kong (seasonal), London and Los Angeles from Sydney with the A380. (Rob Finlayson)
An April 2015 image of Emirates Airbus A380 A6-EEF taking off from Sydney Airport. (Seth Jaworski)
An April 2015 image of Emirates Airbus A380 A6-EEF taking off from Sydney Airport. (Seth Jaworski)
Korean Air Airbus A380 HL7621at Sydney Airport. (Rob Finlayson)
Korean Air Airbus A380 HL7621takes off from Sydney in December 2015. (Rob Finlayson)
China Southern and Qantas have extended their codeshare agreements to cover four additional Chinese and nine Australian cities. (Lee Gatland)
China Southern has flown the A380 seasonally between Guanzhou and Sydney in recent years. (Lee Gatland)
Asiana's first A380 departs Toulouse. (Airbus)
A file image of an Asiana A380. (Airbus)

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