Published on : Thursday, May 5, 2016
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker hosted a press conference to officially inaugurate the airline’s new route from Doha to Adelaide and to celebrate the arrival of the first commercial Airbus A350 to land on Australian soil. Adelaide Airport Managing Director, Mr. Mark Young, and South Australia Minister of Tourism, Hon. Leon Bignell, joined His Excellency Mr. Al Baker at the press conference, showing their support for the new route, which will add an estimated AU$41 million to the local economy.
The launch of the new Adelaide route is part of Qatar Airways’ expansion plans in Australia where it launched its new daily flight to Sydney in March this year and where it has been flying daily to and from Melbourne since 2009 and Perth since 2012. Demand in Australia is so great that at a recent press conference in Sydney, H.E. Mr. Al Baker announced that the aircraft type flying to Sydney would be upgraded from a Boeing 777 with a capacity of 335 passengers to an Airbus A380, with a capacity of 517 passengers, by September this year.
As the global launch customer of the Airbus A350, Qatar Airways has the largest fleet of this aircraft type of any airline in the world and already flies its eight aircraft to Munich, Singapore, the United States and Frankfurt. The Airbus A350 is the ideal aircraft for long-haul travel as its modern design and technology provide the ultimate passenger comfort while reducing fatigue after a long-distance flight.
H.E. Mr. Al Baker said: “We believe that the people of South Australia deserve the best possible passenger experience when connecting to friends and family across the globe. This is why we are proud to offer them the most modern aircraft in the aviation industry, the Airbus A350, to take them to their destinations of choice where they will arrive feeling more relaxed, and less fatigued from a long-haul flight than ever before thanks to the modern technology on board this state-of-the-art aircraft.”
South Australia’s Tourism Minister, Mr. Leon Bignell added: “Qatar Airways’ direct daily flights will bring in more than AU$41 million into our visitor economy and create 228 jobs across the state.
“It is great timing for South Australia. We have just come off our highest ever number of international visitors to the state with almost 10 per cent more visitors than this time last year and well above the national growth rate.
“South Australia will be opened up to an even larger international audience with Qatar Airways flying from more than 150 destinations around the world and providing additional links between South Australia and the Middle East, Europe, India and the United States.
“As Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, I am also keen to ensure we fill the freight section of the daily flights with premium South Australian seafood and high-quality fruit and vegetables.”
Adelaide Airport Managing Director, Mr. Mark Young, commented: “We’re excited to be the first airport in Australia to welcome the new-generation Airbus A350-900 aircraft – one of the most technologically advanced twin-engine aircraft in the world.
“The Qatar Airways Doha-Adelaide service opens up a brand new link with the Middle East, and provides excellent connections further afield such as with Europe and the UK.”
Passengers travelling to or from Adelaide on board the Qatar Airways Airbus A350 in one of its 36 Business Class seats will enjoy one of the most comfortable fully-flat beds in the sky with 80 inches of seat pitch. The 1-2-1 configuration gives every passenger direct access to an aisle and the on-demand à la carte menu service allows Business Class passengers to order anything from the menu at any time during the flight. The aircraft also features the state-of the-art Oryx One entertainment system, with more than 3,000 entertainment options on individual screens in all classes.
The new service to Adelaide will also provide 80 tonnes of cargo capacity per week in and out of the South Australia hub in the belly hold of the A350, connecting Australia’s leading exporters to Qatar Airways Cargo’s global network of more than 150 stations around the world. Qatar Airways Cargo, the third largest international cargo carrier, already carries more than 450 tonnes of freight in the belly hold of its Boeing 777 passenger aircraft into and out of Sydney, Perth and Melbourne per week.
With an average connection time of just 90 minutes via the airline’s hub at Hamad International Airport, passengers travelling from Adelaide can expect a smooth and seamless journey to their final destination via Doha. The contemporary and luxurious airport, which opened in 2014, has more than 40,000 square metres of retail space and restaurants including more than 70 retail and 30 food and beverage outlets, as well as a 25-metre swimming pool, gym, hotel and spa.