Qatar Airways is riding the tailwind of Australia’s border reopening with increased flights to Brisbane and Perth from March 1, while also adding the Queensland capital as a permanent fixture on its network map.
The Queensland capital will see a Boeing 777-300ER fitted with the highly-regarded Qsuites business class departing seven days a week at 10.10pm, with its 5.45am arrival into Doha lining up with Qatar’s morning wave of onwards flights to Europe and the UK, Africa and India.
While flights between Doha and Brisbane have been operating on a temporary basis until now, the airline has confirmed flights to Brisbane will now remain on a year-round basis, in part due to its ongoing support of flights to and from Australia throughout the pandemic.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker previously told Executive Traveller “we were the only foreign carrier that was dedicated, even at a time that we were making losses on the route, to keep on connecting Australia to the outside world.”
“Even though there were capacity restrictions and frequency restrictions, we continued our operations to serve the people of Australia, so our commitment was there not only in good times but also in bad times.”
On the west coast, Perth will also increase to seven flights per week, up from its current three, with the similar red eye aboard the extra-wide body A350-900 now departing daily at 10:50pm and arriving into Doha at 5:20am.
It’s also well-timed should travellers want to stop in the Qatari capital, enjoying a day of exploration, and continue onwards the next morning.
In addition to the increased flights, Qatar will also be changing its three times weekly Auckland service, which has only been flying ex-Brisbane since 12 February, to now go via Adelaide.
“As Australia reopens, we invite passengers to rediscover the world with the world’s best airline as we remain committed to serving the Australian market,” says Jared Lee, Qatar Airways Vice President of Sales for Southeast Asia, Southwest Pacific & Indian Subcontinent.
“We are proud to have maintained services to Australia by operating an honest and stable network, even expanding our Australian operations during the crisis, and transporting hundreds of tonnes of cargo to maintain vital supply chains for Australian agriculture exporters.”
Another factor in Qatar’s favour for continued flights to Brisbane is that Etihad Airways confirmed in October 2020 that it would no longer fly to the Queensland capital even after the pandemic shockwave subsides.
Brisbane was one of several “underperforming” destinations culled from Etihad’s network, in a decision the airline described as “a commercial one” made “as part of an ongoing review”.
As a member of the Oneworld alliance, Qantas Frequent Flyers can collect a modest amount of Qantas points and status credits on every QR flight.
However, the more often you fly with Qatar Airways, especially in business class, joining the airline’s own Privilege Club loyalty program could prove worthwhile, especially as Privilege Club Platinum members travelling in Qatar Airways’ business class enjoy access to the exclusive Al Safwa first class lounge during their stopover in Doha.