* National carrier will operate three flights a week to Brisbane
Qatar Airways will resume services to Brisbane in Australia with three flights a week starting from May 20, the airline said on Thursday.
The flights will be operated by an Airbus A350-1000 offering 46 seats in Business Class and 281 seats in Economy with flights connecting through the airline’s state-of-the-art hub at Hamad International Airport (HIA), voted ‘Third Best Airport in the World’ and ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ this week by Skytrax.
The airline is resuming services after previously receiving short-term approval to operate to Brisbane from late-March to early-April.
During this period Qatar Airways helped reunite more than 5,000 stranded travellers with their loved ones and transported over 270 tonnes of cargo, including Australian agriculture exports, the airline said in a statement on Thursday.
By maintaining round-the-clock operations throughout the crisis, including almost 200 charter flights, Qatar Airways has become the leading airline in taking people home, repatriating more than 1mn people worldwide and in the process receiving widespread praise and thanks from passengers and governments, including Australia, Canada and the UK, among others.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive HE Akbar al-Baker said, “In these difficult times, customers are looking for an airline they can trust, our commitment and willingness to get people home continues to provide assurance.
“We have built a strong level of confidence with passengers, governments, trade partners and airports as a reliable partner during this crisis and we intend to continue delivering on this mission.
“Qatar Airways received exceptional approval to operate short-term services to Brisbane to repatriate the many tourists, students and diplomats who wanted to go back to their home countries. Our flights also provided Australians with an opportunity to come back home from various parts of the world, including Europe, the Gulf and Middle East, Asia and others.
“We successfully completed this task, but now there are more travellers wanting to get home. We know this is an anxious time for many stranded travellers around the world who want to be with their families and loved ones during this difficult time. With the resumption of these three-weekly flights, we are supporting critical passenger movements and aiming to alleviate some of those anxieties.”
With the resumption of flights to Brisbane, Qatar Airways will operate 21 passenger flights per week to Australia: three-weekly flights to Brisbane (Airbus A350-1000), four-weekly flights to Perth (Airbus A350-1000), daily flights to Melbourne (Airbus A350-1000) and daily flights to Sydney (Airbus A350-1000), the statement explains.
Qatar Airways continues to operate to some 16 destinations in Europe, including London, Frankfurt, Paris and Amsterdam, with plans to add an additional seven European destinations by the end of June.
Passengers travelling to and from Australia will enjoy a seamless connection through HIA, which was named ‘Third Best Airport in the World’ at the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2020. The airport was also named ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ for the sixth year in a row and ‘Best Staff Service in the Middle East’ for the fifth year in a row at the publicly voted and coveted awards.
Qatar Airways Cargo, which last month joined the Australian government’s Freight Assistance Mechanism to support Australian agriculture exporters, currently offers a combined air freight capacity of more than 850 tonnes each way.
The carrier’s cargo division operates two Boeing 777 freighters and 11 Boeing 777 freight-only passenger aircraft in addition to the belly-hold cargo on the 21 passenger flights.
The national carrier continues to operate approximately 150 scheduled flights per week to over 30 destinations.
The airline recently announced plans to gradually rebuild its network in line with the evolution of passenger demand and the expected relaxation of entry restrictions around the world. By the end of June, the airline plans to expand its network to 80 destinations. To find out where the airline is still flying, one can visit https://qatarairways.com/en/travel-alerts/COVID-19-update.html.
As an airline, Qatar Airways stressed that it maintains the highest possible hygiene standards, including the regular disinfection of our aircraft, the use of cleaning products recommended by the International Air Transport Association and the World Health Organisation, and thermal screening of crew.