Qatar Airways returns to Adelaide this weekend with non-stop flights to Doha and beyond, marking the fifth Australian city served by the airline during the coronavirus crisis.
From August 16 2020, Qatar Airways will run two return flights per week on the route using its Airbus A350-900 aircraft, catering both to returning travellers and expats jetting back to Australia, and Aussie residents holding a government-granted ‘travel exemption’ to fly overseas.
While these aircraft aren’t fitted with the airline’s revolutionary Qsuites in business class, they do come equipped with fully-flat business class beds in a 1-2-1 layout, ensuring every premium traveller has direct and uninterrupted access to the aisle and the best chance of a good night’s sleep.
“While international travel restrictions remain an important line of protection for Australia against COVID-19, the resumption of services will provide another avenue for repatriating Australians,” said Simon Birmingham, Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.
These flights will also “eventually provide a path for international tourists into South Australia when our borders re-open,” Birmingham added.
Qatar Airways’ Adelaide-Doha flight schedule
On Sundays and Thursdays from August 16, Qatar’s Doha-Adelaide flight takes to the skies at 12:35am local time in Doha as QR914, touching down at 8:20pm in Adelaide on the same calendar day.
Out of Adelaide, QR915 then pushes back at 10:20pm also on Sundays and Thursdays, to reach Doha at 5:50am the following morning.
Passengers flying out of Adelaide can connect onwards from Doha to destinations across the Middle East, Europe, Africa and the Americas, as well as cities across South Asia.
However, all travellers arriving into Australia on an international flight are required to complete 14 days in mandatory hotel quarantine before returning home, or jetting onwards to their final destination.
For those arriving in South Australia, the charges are currently borne by the traveller at the rate of $3,000 for one adult.
Two adults travelling together and sharing a room pay a reduced rate of $2,000 each ($4,000 total), while children over 3yrs are billed at $500 each.
These fees include the cost of hotel accommodation and meals provided throughout the stay, but are waived for travellers who initially booked their ticket before 12pm ACST on July 13 2020 – such as those who booked Qatar Airways prior to the shutdown, and subsequent relaunch, of its Adelaide route.
Qatar Airways’ Australian network
Alongside Adelaide, Qatar Airways is also operating daily flights to and from Sydney, plus four return flights per week for Perth.
The airline also continues to run daily flights from Melbourne to Doha, but due to government restrictions in Victoria, flights inbound to Melbourne from Doha are currently flown without passengers on board, while the state works to get its COVID-19 outbreak under control.
Until at least mid-October, Qatar Airways has also added Brisbane to its map with three return flights per week from its Doha hub – which, from August 19, will also be extended to Auckland, to carry outbound passengers from New Zealand via Brisbane.
Traffic rights between Australia and Qatar grant Qatar Airways 28 return flights per week from Qatar to Australia’s four busiest airports: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
Normally, Qatar Airways uses those rights to run double-daily return flights to Sydney, and daily return flights to both Melbourne and Perth, leaving no room for Brisbane without either chopping one of those other services, or seeing those flight permissions increased.
With Sydney and Perth flights currently reduced in frequency, this has allowed Qatar Airways to expand its network up to Brisbane – but it remains to be seen whether Brisbane will remain in the airline’s schedules after mid-October.
Beyond those four key airports, Qatari airlines can run an unlimited number of flights to all other Australian destinations, so the newly-returned route to Adelaide doesn’t count towards the usual ‘28 weekly flights’ cap: nor do flights to Canberra, when these normally operate.