Qatar Airways made its debut in Canberra, after the flight from Doha touched down at Canberra today at Canberra Airport. The flight was received with a celebratory water cannon salute.
The VIP delegation in the flight were welcomed by Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo, Ambassador of Qatar to Australia, Nasser bin Hamad Al-Khalifa and Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Chief Minister Andrew Barr.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, 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, 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, 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.”
The airline will operate its daily Canberra service with a Boeing B777 aircraft, featuring 42 flatbed seats in Business Class and 316 seats in Economy Class.
The inaugural flight was operated by a Boeing B777 fitted with the airline’s revolutionary Qsuite. Qsuite includes an abundance of Business Class extravagance, including the industry’s first fully lie-flat double bed in Business Class, a quad design offering passengers a private and fully adaptable space.
Canberra is the airline’s fifth destination in Australia. With this, the total cargo capacity out of the Australian continent has increased to more than 630 tonnes per week.