Qatar Airways drops Airbus A380s, cuts flight to Australia, London

Fewer flights around the world, and almost none of them on Qatar Airways' Airbus A380.

By David Flynn, March 21 2020
Qatar Airways drops Airbus A380s, cuts flight to Australia, London

Qatar Airways will trim its flights to Australia, and the rest of the world, across April and May 2020, while also grounding most of its ten Airbus A380s in response to a global downturn in air travel.

The Airbus A380s have been withdrawn from all flights to Australia, Paris and Frankfurt, and most flights to London.

In most cases they've been replaced with the smaller, more efficient Airbus A350, which often brings with it the benefit of the airline's superb Qsuites business class plus high-speed WiFi, so that's a win for business travellers.

The Oneworld member's schedules through to May 31 show some routes dropped and most others slimmed down to achieve an overall 75% reduction in capacity – or, to flip it around, Qatar Airways will be offering just a quarter of the number of seats it had in the sky before Covid-19 took hold.

Qatar's daily Sydney-Doha Airbus A380 will switch to Airbus A350-1000 from April 1, with the Doha-Sydney-Canberra service cancelled from April 2, bringing Sydney-Doha back to a single daily flight.

Melbourne has also seen the superjumbo deep-sixed, with a Boeing 777-300ER (with Qsuites) already in place until March 31, when an Airbus A350-1000 (also Qsuited, as are all A350-1000s) takes over.

Many of Qatar's A380s will be replaced by aircraft with Qsuites business class.
Many of Qatar's A380s will be replaced by aircraft with Qsuites business class.

Perth's daily Airbus A380 makes way for a Boeing 777-300ER through to April 1, after which it's scaled back to four days a week on an Airbus A350-900.

Adelaide's daily Doha service has been cancelled with immediate effect, and the City of Churches will remain off Qatar's network map until June 1, when schedules show an Airbus A350-1000 returning five days a week.

London, one of the most popular destinations for the legion of flyers who flock through Qatar's Doha hub, illustrates the scope of the cuts.

The premium-heavy Doha-Heathrow corridor drops from six flights a day to just two across April and May, while all flights to Gatwick have been cancelled from March 23 through to the end of May, with June seeing a return to two flights per day.

Note that while Gatwick still appears on Qatar's schedule, the flight lands at Heathrow and there's then a National Express bus from Heathrow to Gatwick.

Paris also goes from three flights a day to two, and loses both of its A380s in the process.

Under the instructions of the Qatar Government, effective immediately, entry to the State of Qatar will only be allowed for Qatari nationals, who will be required to enter quarantine for a period of 14 days.

While the Gulf state of Qatar now denies entry to non-citizens, and requires Qatari nationals "to enter quarantine for a period of 14 days", passengers are still allowed to transit through Doha's sprawling Hamad International Airport, "subject to entry restrictions at their final destination."


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2014

Total posts 459

Entry into Qatar was restricted to Qatari nationals on Monday.

23 Mar 2020

Total posts 1

We have a flight booked for April 6 from Adelaide - Doha - London Heathrow. The second flight's status is 'confirmed' but the first flight is 'not confirmed'. How can this be when the whole trip is stated as 'confirmed'? Very worried I won't get back to the UK now...

01 Apr 2014

Total posts 99

ADL-DOH flights have been cancelled, so you will need to re-route via MEL or SYD who will be retaining flights (for the time being). PER will still have flights for now, although a reduced schedule as per the article. Given the border closure in WA, I would be leaning towards a short backtrack over to MEL.

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