Qatar Airways dials back Adelaide-Doha flights

By Chris C., August 15 2016
Qatar Airways dials back Adelaide-Doha flights

Qantas partner Qatar Airways is winding back its new flights between Adelaide and Doha, Qatar from later this year, dropping down from a daily service to five flights a week.

Established in May 2016 using an Airbus A350 aircraft, the airline will suspend flights from Adelaide on Wednesdays and Sundays and from Doha on Tuesdays and Saturdays from October 30, with its reduced schedule remaining in place until at least August 2017.

Qatar Airways was the first airline to launch regular A350 flights to Australia...
Qatar Airways was the first airline to launch regular A350 flights to Australia...

AusBT review: Qatar Airways A350 business class, Adelaide-Doha

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker had previously alerted Australian Business Traveller to a reduction in Adelaide flights, but at the time, noted that only one flight per week would be suspended and that daily service would be restored after a 12-week period.

Akbar also explained in May 2016 that changes to Adelaide were “in order to cater for other destinations” due to a shortage of A350 aircraft in the airline’s fleet, as “Qatar Airways is very picky when it comes to quality” and had experienced delivery delays on several of its A350s.

Qatar Airways' Country Manager (Australasia) Adam Radwanski also shared that the airline “remains fully committed to the Australian market, and to the people and city of Adelaide. We will revert to a daily flight schedule for Adelaide as soon as we are able.”

Brisbane next for Qatar..?

Speaking at the CAPA Australia Pacific Summit 2016, the airline’s Senior Vice President Aeropolitical and Corporate Affairs, Fathi Atti, also shared that flights from Doha to Brisbane are firmly on the radar, but are constrained by limitations on ‘traffic rights’ between Australia and Qatar.

“One of the reasons why I’m here (in Brisbane) is my airline wants to be here, and we will. That’s a promise”, he said.

Qatar Airways will also bring its flagship Airbus A380 onto its Sydney-Doha flights from September 15, complete with the airline’s latest business class seats, first class suites and an inflight bar and lounge to rival Gulf competitors Emirates and Etihad.

Also read: China Southern Airlines to launch Adelaide-Guangzhou flights

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Aug 2016

Total posts 7

No Suprises really! Doesn't this always happen when new carriers enter flights to Adelaide? :-)

I wonder if Qatar looked into simply downgauging their A350 service to a 787-8 service whilst keeping the same frequency... in theory, their jets should be able to reach Adelaide (the distance is 11320km, whereas the range of a 787-8 is 13600km, and Air Canada's similarly-capacitied 787-8 flies the longer Brisbane-Vancouver route). That said, given how tight the seats on Qatar's 787s are, it would be rather suboptimal from a Pax-Ex viewpoint if they did that.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2011

Total posts 231

From memory Qatar are limited to 21 flights a week to Australian capital cities and have maxed their slots.

So, taking Thomas' speculation, I reckon sacrifcing flights to Adelaide in favour of flights to Brisbane or additional flights to Melbourne or Sydney kind of makes sense to me. I thought daily flights to Adelaide was a bit ambitous. 

05 May 2014

Total posts 8

I believe ADL isn't part of the 21 flights a week limit, only the major capital cities (Sorry Adelaide!)

The standard air service agreements with Australia limit flights (or seats) to the major airports (PER/MEL/BNE/SYD) while other ports (eg, ADL, OOL, CNS, CBR, etc) are unlimited.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2011

Total posts 231

Oh true. Mind you, they are daily to Perth, Melbourne and Sydney so not sure where they will find the additional slots unless it is more than 21.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1013

Most Austrlian air service agreements limit either flights or seats per week to the 4 major ports (PER/BNE/SYD/MEL - some agreements also inculde AVV). Other ports (eg, ADL, CBR, DWR, OOL) tend to be unlimited.

Qatar has 21 flights a week to Australia, this increased from 14 last October. QR is using all those rights for their flights to MEL, PER and SYD.

I think it increases to 28 this October.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Oct 2013

Total posts 114

as a victim of this cut back for flights in the new year i was hit on 2 fronts - changes to DOH-CPH as well as DOH-ADL - i wanted to give qatar a chance as have always used emirates but have had to go back to old reliable emirates - cancelled our changed 2 times flights with qatar and repurchased emirates - a little dissapointed!

03 Aug 2015

Total posts 58

Surprised its staying at all, Load Factors have been shocking saw reports that it was as low as 35% during it first month 


Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 738

Cut back before complete canning.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Mar 2016

Total posts 169

Wish they'd put the A350 on the MEL route instead of the 777 - much more appealing product and plane. If they want to compete with EY, EK and QF on the ME route, they'll need to upgrade at some point - the others all have A380s in the night time MEL timeslot.

I'm itching to try Qatar, having heard only good things about their A350 J product and service but not worth it with the 777.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Aug 2015

Total posts 124

As much as I'd like to see the aviation industry grow in secondary cities in Australia, Adelaide just doesn't seem to do it for many of the carriers. Emirates and Singapore Airlines seem to be the only reliable options when flying out of Adelaide.

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 126

Adelaide are lucky they have a qatar service to Doha with the A350

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 439

Im also surprised they are not cancelling it - it was extremely ambitious to begin with. The average person on the street in Adelaide wouldnt know much more about Qatar than 'they stole the world cup'. I would have thought give MEL the A350 (it doesnt make any sense that MEL gets their worst product while ADL gets their best) and make ADL a 4 weekly either 787 or 777-200 service.

I doubt Etihad will be entering ADL anytime soon given QRs experience.

20 Apr 2015

Total posts 21

Gosh. Can SQ survive in ADL then? 

06 Feb 2014

Total posts 114

The way traffic rights are alllocated in Australia needs work.  Why Perth is lumped with restricted rights with Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane makes no sense and is frankly makes a isoloated city more isolated.  The rules should be changed such that every  flight from a secondary city gives and equal right to a primary one... ie you serve adelaide get your right for Brisbane...

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

16 May 2011

Total posts 113

Better yet just give the restrictions to SYD, seems like new airlines only want to fly there. Let MEL, BNE and PER attract new airlines without restrictions, its already hard for them to attract new services being in the shadows of SYD. The airport already carries around 10 million more international pax then MEL so I think its justified!

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1013

Some agreements have addtional rights to the 4 main hubs provided the flight goes through another port. eg, CX has used all the Hong Kong rights into Australia direct to PER/MEL/SYD/BNE. They have access to limited rights (7 IIRC) to operate tag flights such as HKG-ADL-SYD or HKG-CBR-MEL which wouldn't count towards their 70/week limit.

trich193 Banned
trich193 Banned

16 Aug 2016

Total posts 1

[Deleted by admin - multiple personal attacks. Banned.]

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

11 Mar 2015

Total posts 194

probably too much competition with EK after all their 777 takes more cargo and pax as well -personally I would choose Qatar over EK any day there is no comparison between their business class EK being the poor cousin,light years behind -ADL is still the village comparing international flights.No lounges for business or first class only the domestic Qantas which is pathetic if you used big city lounges before.Always have to backtrack to MEL or SYD if you want a decent lounge experience.

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Qatar Airways dials back Adelaide-Doha flights