Gulf hub carrier, Qatar Airways, is to add a fourth destination to its Australian network in 2016 thanks to the recent amendment to the bilateral agreement between Qatar and Australia. Adding to its existing daily flights to Melbourne and Perth, and just a week after confirming a new weekly link to Sydney from March 1, 2016, the carrier has confirmed the planned launch of daily flights between its Hamad International Airport hub in Doha and Adelaide from May 2, 2016.
The Qatari and Australian governments this month announced they had expanded the current bilaterals between the countries, allowing 50 per cent more flights on the Australia-Qatar route with immediate effect. The agreement will allow for up to 21 flights each week, each way, for airlines of both countries to the major gateways of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. The new arrangement also provides unlimited services from Qatar to secondary/regional ports including Darwin, Adelaide, the Gold Coast and Cairns.
The new Adelaide route will be flown using Qatar Airways’ new Airbus A350-900 and will boost its Australian capacity to 28 flights a week. The airline’s Gulf rival, Emirates Airline already serves Adelaide from Dubai International Airport with flights since November 2012; now operating daily using a Boeing 777-300ER.
“2016 is going to be yet another exciting year for Qatar Airways and we are very pleased that Australia will figure prominently in our expansion plans with the launch of flights to Sydney from March 1, 2016 and Adelaide from May 2, 2016 to further strengthen our operations in the country,” said His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, Chief Executive Officer, Qatar Airways Group.
As the cosmopolitan coastal capital of South Australia, Adelaide is home to renowned museums such as the Art Gallery of South Australia, displaying expansive collections including noted indigenous art, and the South Australian Museum, devoted to natural history. Other attractions include the destination’s vibrant nightlife, pristine beaches and popular zoos with abundant wild life.
“Our launching of flights to Adelaide and Sydney next year will provide even more choice for holidaymakers and business travellers to Australia, and also provide a strategic air link for travellers from Adelaide to the rest of the world,” said Al Baker.
“Tourism is the major economic driver in South Australia and Qatar Airways arrives in Adelaide at a time when tourists and business travellers are looking for even more travel options, as well as superior service levels that set new benchmarks,” he added.
Since the beginning of the year, Qatar Airways has begun services to Amsterdam (The Netherlands); Zanzibar (Tanzania); Faisalabad, Sialkot and Multan in Pakistan, and Abha (Saudi Arabia). In the pipeline before the end of this year is Durban (South Africa) and Nagpur (India), while in 2016, it is also launching flights to three new US destinations – Los Angeles, Boston and Atlanta.
Our analysis of Sabre Airport Data Intelligence segment demand statistics shows that in the 12 months to July 2015 approximately 89 per cent of passengers on the Emirates Airline link between Dubai and Adelaide were not beginning or ending their journeys at these points, and Qatar Airways is expected to see a similar passenger split with its own services.
An estimated 205,000 passengers flew on the Emirates flight on the Dubai - Adelaide route during the 12 month period travelling on more than 850 city pair itineraries. The main markets for passengers behind and beyond the destinations (accounting for more than 85 per cent of the total passenger traffic) were London Heathrow, Rome, London Gatwick, Manchester, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Milan Malpensa, Athens, Dublin, Amsterdam and Glasgow.