Qatar Airways launched its new service to Canberra today, bringing daily flights to the Australian capital and doubling its services to Sydney, where the new flights transit, to twice per day.
Canberra is now the fifth destination in Australia served at least once per day by Qatar Airways, joining Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. Qatar Airways offers a total of 42 flights per week to Australia.
Speaking at the launch of the route in Canberra, Qatar Airways chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “Having inaugurated flights to Adelaide and Sydney in 2016, we quickly realised the need for further expansion of our footprint in Australia, and what better place than the capital, Canberra?”
The new service, QR906/QR907, will be flown by Qatar Airways’ 358-seat Boeing 777-300 aircraft – good news for premium travellers, as this is the variant that has 42 business class seats rather than just 24 in the higher-density 412-seat version. These seats are laid out in a 2-2-2 pattern, recline to a fully flat bed and offer 78 inches of pitch and 21.82 inches of width.
Economy class seats offer between 31 and 33 inches of pitch and between 16.6 and 17.37 inches of width.
Travellers looking to make use of the additional daily flight between Doha and Sydney that the service offers ought to note that, unlike the Airbus A380 that flies Qatar Airways’ other daily non-stop flight on this route, the airline’s B777-300 doesn’t offer a first class cabin (the A380 has eight first class seats).
The B777-300 also has different business class seat products than the A380 – the latter has 48 seats laid out 1-2-1 in a herringbone formation, meaning all passengers get direct aisle access. The 2-2-2 layout of the B777-300’s business class cabin means window-seat passengers will need to climb over their neighbours to get to the aisle.
However, travellers on the route soon may be able to experience Qatar Airways’ newest Q Suite business class seat product, which the airline is rolling out across its retrofitted B777-300s and, more recently, its Airbus A350-1000 aircraft that are expected to be delivered imminently.
Qatar Airways senior manager of Australasia, Adam Radwanski, told The Canberra Times that the Q Suite will soon be available on the Canberra service as more aircraft are retrofitted with the new product.
The flight takes 16 hours and 40 minutes heading to Australia, and 17 hours and 45 minutes on the return leg to Qatar.
|QR906||Doha (DOH)||Sydney (SYD)||0755||0625+1||Daily|
|Sydney (SYD)||Canberra (CBR)||0725+1||0835+1|
|QR907||Canberra (CBR)||Sydney (SYD)||1345||1445||Daily|
|Sydney (SYD)||Doha (DOH)||1555||2330|
As reported previously by Business Traveller, Qatar Airways also will be upgauging from a B777-300 to an A380 on its Perth service starting May 1.
In related news, Qatar Airways recently cut a number of privileges for travellers who purchase upgrades using Privilege Club QMiles, notably lounge access and baggage allowance, which are now provided based on the originally ticketed cabin.