As many airlines across the globe continue to suspend routes and ground aircraft due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Qatar Airways is doing quite the opposite.
On March 29th, the airline added 28 additional flights to Australia, which is equivalent to approximately 48,000 seats, including their brand-new service from Doha to Brisbane. This is part of their new “taking you home” campaign which will assist passengers who have been stranded due to flight cancellations.
The carrier now operates three daily flights from Doha (DOH) to Sydney using their Airbus A350-1000 and Boeing 777-300ER equipment, two flights a day from DOH to Melbourne using the same combination of aircraft, two into Perth using the Airbus A350-900 and one into Brisbane on the Boeing 777-300ER, with their Adelaide and Canberra services currently on hold.
"We are thankful to the Australian Government, Airports and staff for their support in helping us to add additional flights to get people home, and in particular, to bring flights to Brisbane," said the group chief executive, Mr Akbar Al Baker.
As of this week, Qatar will be the only airline flying from London to Australia and, according to the airline, between March 1-22, Qatar Airways flew 13,458 Australians back home.
As well as additional passenger services, the company has commenced freighter operations in and out of Australia due to the nation’s severe demand for pharmaceuticals and fresh produce during the COVID-19 crisis.
Qatar Airways Cargo will operate twice-weekly to Melbourne and Perth, with a stopover in Singapore, using their Boeing 777F equipment. This will add 200 tonnes of main deck cargo capacity each way, every week.
“We are pleased to provide these additional services to bring essential commodities, fresh produce, food products, and medical supplies to Australia as we face this public health crisis.”
The addition of these flights will bring the combined weekly capacity to and from Australia to over 550 tonnes.