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Qatar Airways increases capacity to Australia, adds Brisbane

written by Adam Thorn | March 27, 2020

Qatar Airways will add an extra 48,000 seats on services from Doha to Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane from 29 March until mid-April.

The airline said it has put on the extra capacity to help bring people home, and includes its first-ever flights to Brisbane. Qatar was able to make the move after the Australian government relaxed a long-standing treaty that limited the number of services it could provide.

The business will now operate the following flights:

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  • Daily service to Brisbane (Boeing 777-300ER)
  • Double daily service to Perth (Airbus A380 and Boeing 777-300ER)
  • Double daily service to Melbourne (Airbus A350-1000 and Boeing 777-300ER)
  • Triple daily service to Sydney (Airbus A350-1000 and Boeing 777-300ER)

The temporary service to Brisbane, flight QR912, will depart Doha daily at 10:00pm and arrive in Brisbane at 5:20pm the next day.

The return flight, QR913, will leave Brisbane at 9:20pm and arrive in Doha at 5:20am the next morning.

Doha’s Hamad International Airport is still allowing transit, something which is allowing the national carrier to keep flying. It’s likely to be a PR boon for the controversial country, which owns the carrier.

Citizens in both Australia and Qatar are required to self-isolate for 14 days after landing, in light of coronavirus.

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Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker said, “We know there are many people who want to be with their families and loved ones during this difficult time.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-1000 A7-ANJ at Sydney Airport. (Seth Jaworski)
Qatar Airways Airbus A350-1000 A7-ANJ at Sydney Airport. (Seth Jaworski)

“We are thankful to the Australian government, airports and staff for their support in helping us to add additional flights to get people home, and in particular, to bring flights to Brisbane.

“We continue to operate around 150 daily flights to more than 70 cities worldwide. Sometimes governments put in place restrictions that mean we simply cannot fly to a country. We are working closely with governments around the world, and wherever possible we will reinstate or add more flights.”

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26 Comments

  • john

    says:

    good move Qatar & perfect timing, but why only temporarily to BNE ?

  • Red Cee

    says:

    Why didn’t the Government allow an Australian Airline to operate these services? This would be employing Australians, rather than people from the Middle East. Once again, the Federal Government is favouring foreign airlines above Australian.

    • Jabiru Joe

      says:

      I hope it was a case of QANTAS turning down the slots as not economic. An absolute travesty if they would have liked to have done them. I totally agree the govt seem to have no knowledge of the machinations of the aviation industry, particularly the small/very small sector.

  • John

    says:

    Qatar is operating these flights because Qantas chose not to operate services.

    • John

      says:

      Have you seen how many qantas crew have been infected by this terrible virus? Would you send your son,daughter,wife,husband,relative into one of these flight ? Let Qatar Airways deal with their consequences for now, their staff sadly may have no choice, aussies still do!

  • Hutch

    says:

    @Red Cee – “Why didn’t the Government allow an Australian Airline to operate these services?”
    Did an Australian airline ask to do these flights? The answer is no, because if they wanted to, there is nothing stopping them. Qatar airlines is not getting paid by the Australian government to run these flights.

    But why would an Australian airline want to? They are not in a position to offer a European network anywhere near what Qatar does (even with the current massive reductions) and would simply just lose money.

    • BazzaJ

      says:

      That is because some other Government is paying the bills. Unlike Qantas they don’t have to make a profit! And yes unlike most countries Australia does not limit capacity into our Airports. US, Canada, France and Germany have severe limitations on foreign carriers dumping capacity into their country.

  • Hutch

    says:

    @John – Qatar is normally limited to 21 flights to the big 4 airports (SYD, MEL, PER & BNE), so chose not to fly to Brisbane and do daily flights to the other 3. There are no restrictions on other ports, hence the normal Adelaide flights. They are allowed an additional 7 flights to the big 4 if the flight goes via or continues to a “regional” airport. Hence the SYD-CBR on the 2nd daily Sydney flight.

    Presumably, once the crisis ends, the normal rights restrictions will come back, but Qatari government has been asking for more rights for a while.

  • John

    says:

    Great that Qatar has done this BUT we just returned from LHR to Sydney economy one way $3000 AUD each.
    I might be more about making some extra cash than helping people get home.

  • Chris Weavers

    says:

    Well it’s nice to see that Qatar steps up while Qantas goes into hiding for their shareholders – remember this this disloyalty when they get up and running again and ask for your loyalty – by the way Qatar is an EXCELLENT airline Qantas not so

  • Keith Bannerman

    says:

    Brisbane Airport actually had QR913 listed for last night ( 27 March ). No sign of it, of course, better luck Sunday ( 29 March ) like the article says !

  • Bernard

    says:

    I would second the comments from Red Cee. Please explain minister.

  • JL

    says:

    Red Cee – Maybe because the airlines themselves aren’t willing to do it?

    The government can’t force a private company to do anything that that said company doesn’t want to.

  • Peter

    says:

    1) Qatar can take a long term view as they have no financial restraints unlike airlines such as Qantas who have shareholders to satisfy. Qatar are the richest country per capita the world. Qatar own more assets in London than the Queen of England. Other assets include 20% of British Airways, 20% of Heathrow Airport and Harrods department store.

    2) Qatar have the benefit of a hub at Doha. They are still able to hub and spoke to 70 cities worldwide.

    3) It is possible Qatar will lose millions of dollars during this period. There is no guarantee all the services will operate.

    4) The best Qantas could offer is a service Sydney Darwin London and possibly Perth to London.

    5) Some airlines are going to go out of business or merge such as Etihad and Emirates.

    6) We can assume Brisbane will be a permanent port.

    7) So much for Allan Joyce and Project Sunrise. Qatar are now carrying the Royal Mail to the Western Hemisphere.

    • Hutch

      says:

      No one can confidently say that 5-7 will occur or not.

    • Rocket

      says:

      There is no such thing as the ‘Queen of England’. England has not been a sovereign State for 300 years. She is the Queen of the United Kingdom and it’s no longer called the Royal Mail in Australia.

  • GrahamCA

    says:

    Presumably Red Cee because neither Qantas nor Virgin operated through Doha which is one of very few airports allowing transiting.

  • Jose carlos rodrigues

    says:

    Good to see you are still flying in to Australia

  • Red Cee

    says:

    Have read that Qatar have asked for assistance from the Qatar Government. Apparently it is also struggling financially. If it is, why is it still operating these services (at a loss), when it should be acting more financially responsibly, like many other airlines around the world?

  • Winston

    says:

    I cannot understand why Sir Richard Branson is unable to assist Virgin Airlines in times like this. I may be wrong, but does he not have a big part in Virgin Australia and Virgin Atlantic?

    • Rocket

      says:

      Branson is always around when things are good to spout insincere crap he makes up on the spot, but never when things are bad. The only way to get him here now would be to tell him there’s a product launch with attractive women.
      He owns barely 10% of VA and 51% of VS and he is refusing to pay VS (Virgin Atlantic) staff even though he makes more than their entire wage bill in interest every year and he’s been turned on viscously by the British public and in Parliament in the UK as a result.
      He’s a BS artist only around for the good times.

  • PB

    says:

    Qatar will lose heavily on these routes. It will pick up the traffic that would have flown on Emirates, so that’s one market it can tap, but they aren’t being sufficiently diligent about screening for the virus, so passengers are at risk, as well as flight crew.
    Why would people fly to Australia at the present time, other than returning Aussies that have a home in Australia (and that’s a limited number). Self isolation for two weeks? Tourist places closed? Tourists would not come. Why would any airline want to increase service unless it is subsidized?

  • john

    says:

    Any operator willing to help is acceptable, Qantas only helps investors and share holders and works to destroy Virgin, when this is all over remember who shouldered the load and who laid off staff to reduce redundancy payments at a latter date and then refused to let staff to take sick leave and moved the wages costs to the tax payer.

    • Rocket

      says:

      Oh grow up, Qatar is a government QANGO funded and bailed out regardless of profit by its rich state owners and not a commercial business nor one that has to particularly consider its staff v.v. potential infection as I posit there are no WHS laws in the dictatorship it originated from. It can also stop in Doha which Qantas and Virgin cannot, Qantas is still operating sone UK flights and Virgin doesn’t Most countries where Qantas has traffic rights (SIN for example) have banned any flight with non Singapore nationals hence qantas had to operate a reduced load to fly via Darwin.

  • Tom Wood

    says:

    Such an interesting move, a literal opposite of almost every other airline in the world. Are the motivations all altruistic? Diplomatically and commercially potentially very beneficial, if not in the short the long run. I hope/wonder if they’re taking as many infection prevention measures as they could/should. The higher prices could be explained by if there is actually very low demand on some flights (which there has been) and them having to cover flight costs. Interesting they’ve stopped Adelaide. Hopefully this will lead to a changed situation afterwards, potentially more slots and Qsuite availability on all Australian routes.

  • Winston

    says:

    Unsure why the Australian government is being called upon to bail out Virgin Australia when most of the ownership is Etihad Airways (20.94%) Singapore Airlines (20.09%) Nanshan Group (19.98%) HNA Group (19.82%) Virgin Group (10.42%).
    Why should our government neglect other citizens who have lost jobs around the whole country just to bail out foreign owners? Doesn’t make economical sense!!!

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