Last airline standing Qatar flies 36,000 to and from Australia in April

written by Adam Thorn | April 22, 2020
Qatar Airways Airbus A350-1000 A7-ANJ at Sydney Airport. (Seth Jaworski)
Qatar Airways Airbus A350-1000 A7-ANJ at Sydney Airport. (Seth Jaworski)

Qatar Airways carried more than 36,000 passengers to and from Australia in the first two weeks of April, as it capitalises on being one of the last airlines flying regular international routes.

Worldwide, the business has taken more than 1 million passengers home since mid-February.

Both Qantas and Virgin cancelled all international trips at the end of March, though are undertaking a handful of chartered and government underwritten routes.

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The new figures, obtained by Australian Aviation, reveal Qatar carried 4,474 to Australia, and 32,000 from Australia, from 27 March to 13 April.

It comes despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison advising Australians to avoid “non-essential” overseas travel, and all arrivals being asked to spend two weeks in a hotel room to stem the spread of coronavirus.

The numbers have likely been fuelled by temporary visa holders returning back to their countries of origin after the government refused to allow them access to either JobSeeker or JobKeeper benefits.

Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker, said, “The entire team at Qatar Airways has worked incredibly hard to take people home over the past few weeks.

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“We have built a strong level of trust with our passengers, governments, travel trade and cargo businesses as a reliable partner when we were needed the most and we continue to offer a schedule where possible and allowed by governments.”

Qatar Airways has used its stance to launch a PR and marketing offensive under the tagline of “taking passengers home”.

Australian Aviation earlier reported that Qatar Airways Cargo began freighter flights to and from the country due to strong demand for the nation’s pharmaceuticals and fresh produce during the COVID-19 crisis.

The twice-weekly journeys to Melbourne and Perth, with a tech stop at Singapore, added 200 tonnes of main deck cargo capacity each week, each way.

Previously, the airline operated belly-hold services.

The airline also added an extra 48,000 seats on passenger services from Doha to Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane from 29 March until mid-April.

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12 Comments

  • Jake

    says:

    Smart airline. Terrible morals, and helping to spread covid around the world. Thanks QR!

    • Martin Oliver

      says:

      What a load of rubbish., Do you expect people to remain stranded in another country. What an idiot,

    • Redaan

      says:

      No mate, easy to talk when you at home think about others far away from home.???!

  • Sam Mesfin

    says:

    Thanks to Qatar Airways we managed to get home. I like to extend my gratitude to the airline to make coming home possible when the others can’t. Keep up the good job. Wish you the best for your future.

  • Tarben Hyldgård

    says:

    I am a frequent flyer with Qatar and is very satisfied with their service and not panicking in a crises situation.
    Flying between Manila Qatar Copenhagen in order to fly between my off shore job and home.
    Thank you!

  • PETER EMMETT

    says:

    The Best airline in the world, flying the Best plane…A350-1000

  • Lee

    says:

    It’s a pity all those people had no alternative than to pass through the middle east.

  • Anne

    says:

    I Congratulate Qatar Airways for all they are doing in this very difficult time, l too am trying to
    get permission to fly One Way to be with my Fiancée who is overseas.

  • TD

    says:

    Well done Qatar Airways in helping out Australians. Obviously an airline that loves and succeeds a challenge in trying times where others won’t entertain one. You have the Aussie spirit

  • AlanH

    says:

    The benefits of being located in a half-way hub! Whatever you may think of this airline they have tried hard to provide a service to the world! Of course they are going to benefit from it big time, but that’s smart business. Where are Emirates and Etihad when the world needed them?

  • Harry McAulay

    says:

    My wife and I were in WA visiting our daughter, who is working as Doctor in Perth.
    Our flights were cancelled by other operators.
    If it hadn’t been for Qantas my wife would not have been able to return to her work, also as Doctor. Well done to Qatar Airways for standing up to the plate.

  • James

    says:

    Wonder if anyone loving this airline has ever had their passport removed from them, beaten if they dont earn money and are forced to live in slums to get slave wages if you even get paid…. Yay Qatar slave drivers.

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