Qatar Airways plans Airbus A380 flights to Melbourne

By Chris Chamberlin , December 13 2016
Qatar Airways plans Airbus A380 flights to Melbourne

Qantas partner Qatar Airways will upgrade its daily Melbourne-Doha flights to its flagship Airbus A380 aircraft from June 30 2017.

Replacing the current Boeing 777, the superjumbo introduces the airline's first class service to Victorian skies – currently seen flying only to Sydney in Australia – with eight spacious suites found in a 1-2-1 layout...

Qatar Airways' Airbus A380 first class
Qatar Airways' Airbus A380 first class

... ahead of an inflight bar and lounge area shared by both business and first class travellers:

Qatar Airways' Airbus A380 inflight lounge
Qatar Airways' Airbus A380 inflight lounge

Those business class passengers also gain direct aisle access on the A380, with fully-flat beds in a 1-2-1 layout (pictured) replacing the Boeing 777's 2-2-2 configuration, which has passengers by the windows hopping over their seatmate to access the aisle.

Qatar Airways' Airbus A380 business class
Qatar Airways' Airbus A380 business class

AusBT review: Qatar Airways Airbus A380 business class, Doha-London-Doha

In Melbourne, business class passengers along with Qantas Gold frequent flyers and other Oneworld Sapphire members will have access to the Qantas business class lounge, while first class flyers, Qantas Platinum cardholders and Oneworld Sapphire members can relax in the Qantas First Lounge.

When returning home from Doha or flying onward, first class passengers enjoy entry to the Al Safwa first class lounge, with business class travellers gaining access to the Al Mourjan business class lounge.

Platinum and Oneworld Emerald frequent flyers stuck in economy can instead visit Doha's separate 'First Class' frequent flyer lounge, with Gold-grade travellers and Oneworld Sapphire members invited to visit the 'Business Class' frequent flyer lounge.

"We were honoured that Qatar Airways elected to make Melbourne its first Australian destination, seven years ago," said Melbourne Airport's Chief of Aviation, Simon Gandy.

"Today’s announcement shows just how strongly the passenger demand for this route is growing, and the foresight of Qatar Airways investing in Melbourne all those years ago," Gandy adds.

The news comes just two weeks after the airline revealed plans to launch Canberra-Doha flights in 2017/18 and follows the launch of Qatar Airways flights to both Sydney and Adelaide this year.

Also read: Photo tour: Qatar’s Airbus A380 first, business class

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 760

Calling QF and QR partners is probably over-generous.  Begrudging acquaintances is closer to the truth.

They're 'partners' by way of the Oneworld alliance, with Qatar Airways also using Qantas' international lounges in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. We don't get involved with, or comment on, industry politics, real or perceived.

03 Aug 2015

Total posts 59

Lots of love for Melbourne today :) 

17 Jan 2013

Total posts 7

Prefer the business seats on QR 777-300 by a mile. Especially over the 350/380 & 787. Of course the first class suites are a bonus.

05 May 2016

Total posts 585

This news seems to indicate that the rumour of QF killing the A380 service on its flagship route is unlikely to be true. Surely QF would rather people flew QF metal than on partners such as Qatar?

Perhaps someone in QF deliberately wanted to spread misinformation.

You have a good point here, but from what I know the rumor about killing the A380 service comes from the fact that the DXB - LHR leg isn't filling up reliably (I think this is partially due to Emirates adding more frequencies on its own metal to LHR rather than directing their passengers onto the Qantas flights... QF were allegedly very angry over that). 


MEL - DXB seems to be going fine and the most likely 'cancellation' will be of the onward flight to LHR. 

In some respects we can see the 787 service between PER and LHR as an attempt to regain market share from Emirates... kind of a tit-for-tat thing. 

Let's swing the discussion on this article back to the topic of the article: Qatar Airways' Airbus A380 flights to Melbourne.

Qantas' own plans for its A380s in Melbourne are instead being discussed on a dedicated article, which you can find here. :)

It makes sense for Qatar to do this given that they have an allied airline's First Class ground service to add value to the product. 


So now Melbourne gets full flagship-level services from Qantas, all the ME3, and I think Singapore Airlines as well. Very cool.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

23 May 2013

Total posts 45

How many A380 gates does MEL have? It's going to start getting really tight on gate space with QF9, EK405, EK407, EY461, SQ218 and now QR all flying the aircraft out in the evenings... 


Although it's a morning service, I wouldn't be surprised if EK's other direct service switched to an A380 soon as well 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Mar 2016

Total posts 169

3 I think? I can see them building more. In the meantime, airports with insufficient A380 gates can move planes to them just in time for boarding - i.e. clean and load elsewhere then board at the dedicated gates.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2014

Total posts 112

Wonder if they will do a tag on AKL from MEL?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Mar 2016

Total posts 169

Yeeeeees!!!!! Great news!

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 79

I would love for them to do a tag but surely they will try to fill their direct flights from AKL-DOH first. I would love it if they flew MEL also!! I Thought they only had 6 A380s flying DOH, SYD, LHR CDG and BKK. Hope they take delivery of more A380s by June otherwise I see delays in implementing this. I prefer QR over EK but it's a tough call between QR and EY onboard. LOVING this news! I was looking at F out of Syd and for months couldn't find a ticket! The question now is do I switch FFP to QR? Much rather redeem on them than QF.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Mar 2016

Total posts 169

I'm in the process of booking flights to Europe next year and can only see 777 and A350 on the CDG route so potentially that A380 has been freed up to service MEL.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 79

True that's the other option. Given the possibility of delays I'm going to wait until it's actually flying to MEL for a month or so before booking.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Oct 2014

Total posts 15

Wow, wondering how Melbourne will be able to handle 5 airlines operating the A380? QR now joins QF, EK, EY and SQ all flying evening A380 arrivals and departures, currently with 4 dedicated A380 gates. Maybe some schedule changes will be required to accommodate the addition of QR, but this is a great news story and further cements the phenomenal growth that MEL continues to see. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Dec 2016

Total posts 1

We have cycled through Doha on a regular basis and the QF Platinum status is pretty meaningless - no access to the 'real' QR First Class lounge (which is a huge and luxurious setup).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Apr 2017

Total posts 6

QR establishes the first Doha - Melbourne service 7 years ago, then starts Sydney service 6 years later yet Sydney gets the first QR A380 service?  

How likely is it that QR will start the Melbourne A380 service from 1st July as they've advertised?
 


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Qatar Airways plans Airbus A380 flights to Melbourne