Qatar to serve Oz from December 6

18 Jun 2009 by Mark Caswell

Melbourne will be the first Australian city to be served by Qatar Airways. The Doha-based carrier will launch a three times a week service with B777-200LRs starting on December 6, with flight frequency expected to increase to daily in the new year. It’s likely that Sydney will be the second destination for Qatar.  

“Many people have asked me about our direct routes to Melbourne and Sydney,” says the carrier’s CEO Akbar Al Baker, “We’re finalising some details with the regulatory authorities and once we’ve received the necessary planes from Boeing we’ll be ready to operate.”

The B777s will be configured for 42 business and 217 economy class seats. There will be no first class. Business class features proper flat bed seats configured 2-2-2 with 78 inches of legroom. In economy class the legroom is 34 inches with seating disposed 3-3-3.

Qatar says that its Australian services will be timed to ensure good connections for flights to and from the UK and mainland Europe.

In other news, Qatar is wooing small companies and individual business people with a new Qbiz loyalty scheme. It makes it easier for firms with limited travel budgets to maximise their savings with both companies and travellers earning mileage points. According to Paul Johannes, senior manager Europe for Qatar, “The scheme covers all fares except for the very cheapest tariffs.

It would, for example, allow members to earn one free return economy ticket for every five return tickets booked between London and Dubai via Doha. In the case of London to Singapore via Doha, it enables a passenger who booked two return tickets to earn one free economy class ticket. Passengers must enrol in the scheme to receive the benefits and membership details must be added to the booking either when booking through your travel agent or if booking yourself on

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Report by Alex McWhirter

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