The first Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Canberra, the capital city of Australia, touched down today at Canberra Airport, where it was welcomed with a celebratory water cannon salute.
Qatar Airways flight QR906 departed Hamad International Airport (HIA) on Sunday 11 February at 07:55, and arrived at Canberra Airport at 08:35 on Monday morning.
On board the inaugural Qatar Airways flight to Canberra, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, was joined by the Australian Ambassador to the State of Qatar, His Excellency Mr. Axel Wabenhorst. The VIP delegation was greeted upon arrival by Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Hon Steven Ciobo; the Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Australia, His Excellency Nasser bin Hamad Al-Khalifa; Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Chief Minister Andrew Barr MLA; Canberra Airport Chairman, Mr. Terry Snow and Managing Director of Canberra Airport Mr. Stephen Byron.
H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “Qatar Airways is delighted to be expanding its reach in Australia, by launching our fifth gateway into this beautiful country. In 2016, we launched flights to Sydney and Adelaide, clearly demonstrating our commitment to the people of Australia. We are extremely happy to be offering our loyal Australian passengers the chance to explore the newest and most exciting destinations we have added to our global network in the past year, including many European cities such as Dublin, Kyiv, Prague and St. Petersburg. We are also confident that Australian travellers will be as excited as we are about our many upcoming new destinations set to launch this year, including Cardiff, United Kingdom; Malaga, Spain and Mykonos, Greece.”
ACT Chief Minister Mr. Andrew Barr, who welcomed the arrival of the second international airline to service the capital, said: “It is wonderful that Qatar Airways has made the decision to come to Canberra in 2018 – a year in which our city was recognised as the third best city in the world to visit by Lonely Planet.”
Canberra Airport Managing Director, Mr. Stephen Byron, said: “We are delighted to welcome Qatar Airways to Canberra Airport, the second international airline to come to Canberra. For the first time, Canberrans and around one million people living in our wider region will now have daily access to Qatar Airways’ global network of more than 150 destinations, via a short stopover in Sydney.”
Qatar Airways will operate its daily Canberra service with a Boeing B777 aircraft, which features 42 flatbed seats in Business Class and 316 seats in Economy Class. Passengers will be able to enjoy the airline’s superior entertainment system offering a wide variety of entertainment options.
The inaugural flight was operated by a Boeing B777 retrofitted with the airline’s revolutionary Qsuite. Qsuite includes an abundance of Business Class extravagance, including the industry’s first fully lie-flat double bed, a revolutionary quad design offering passengers a private and fully adaptable space – the first and only of its kind, in addition to movable TV monitors and privacy dividers, which transform the space into an area perfect for socialising.
With the airline launching a new daily service to Canberra, its fifth destination in Australia, the total cargo capacity out of the Australian continent has increased to more than 630 tonnes per week. Qatar Airways Cargo offers exporters in Australia its innovative QR Fresh solution for the air freight of Australian meat and other perishable products throughout the world via its state-of-the-art hub in Doha. Its Quick Ramp Transfer (QRT) offers the fastest shipment transfer at Hamad International Airport and the use of reefer vehicles at its hub ensures seamless temperature control for perishable products.
Qatar Airways added many new exciting destinations to its network in 2017, including Auckland, New Zealand; Dublin, Republic of Ireland; Nice, France; Prague, Czech Republic, with direct service to Cardiff, United Kingdom, Mykonos, Greece and Malaga, Spain set to launch this year.
The national carrier of the State of Qatar, is one of the fastest-growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world, with a modern fleet of more than 200 aircraft flying to business and leisure destinations across six continents.
The award-winning airline has received a number of recent accolades, including ‘Airline of the Year’ by the prestigious 2017 Skytrax World Airline Awards, held at the Paris Air Show. This is the fourth time that Qatar Airways has been given this global recognition as the world’s best airline. In addition to being voted Best Airline by travellers from around the world, Qatar’s national carrier also won a raft of other major awards at the ceremony, including ‘Best Airline in the Middle East,’ ‘World’s Best Business Class’ and ‘World’s Best First Class Airline Lounge.’