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Airport lands second international carrier with Doha service

By Ian Bushnell - 26 July 2017 7

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Canberra Airport has secured a second international carrier, with Qatar Airways set to start daily flights between Canberra and Doha via Sydney from mid-February 2018.

Singapore Airlines became the airport’s first international carrier last September, operating the Canberra-Singapore-Wellington route.

The new service will link Canberra to Qatar’s network of flights into the UK, Europe and South Africa – albeit with two stopovers at Sydney and Doha.

The Managing Director of Canberra Airport, Stephen Byron, said the Qatar connection was an exciting
development in the fulfilment of a major goal.
“We have had a long-held dream that we could connect Canberra with the rest of the world. The beginning
of the Qatar Airways service in February provides seamless access to the major international hub of Doha,
and a stepping off point for the Middle East, Europe and points beyond.
“We welcome Qatar Airways’ strong support for Canberra, and the people living in our wider region of
around 1 million people”.

Qatar will use a Boeing 777-300ER for the Canberra-Sydney-Doha flights, with QR907 taking off from Canberra at 1.45 pm to reach Sydney one hour later. The first flight is scheduled for February 13, 2018.

After another hour’s stopover, QR907 will take off at 3.55 pm bound for Doha, where it will land at 10.30 pm.

The QR906 return leg is expected to leave Doha at 8.10 am for a 6.15 am arrival into Sydney the following day; and then on to Canberra for an 8.25 am touchdown.

The new flights will complement Qatar’s current daily QR908/QR909 Airbus A380 flight between Sydney and Doha.

Qatar, a Qantas partner,  won’t be able to sell the leg between Sydney and Canberra for domestic flights but eligible passengers, including business class travellers and Qantas Gold and Platinum frequent flyers, will be able to use Qantas’s domestic lounges at Canberra.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive,  Akbar Al Baker, said Canberra, as Australia’s capital city, was an important addition to our global route map and further boosts the existing strong ties between Australia and Qatar.

“We are confident our highly-acclaimed product will appeal greatly to government, business and leisure travellers alike.”

 

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7 Responses to
Airport lands second international carrier with Doha service
dungfungus 6:06 pm 29 Jul 17

Southerly_views said :

The proposed Qatar Canberra service compares favourably with the existing Sydney services offered by Emirates and Etihad. We fly to Middle East and African destinations either individually or together as a family and have always struggled to complete the painful Canberra/Sydney/Canberra connections in terms of logistics, time taken and cost. We have tried flying and renting cars to get to Sydney but the air travel cost or rental charges are still substantial when compared to the other legs of the trip. Also there are often long incoming customs transit times in Sydney which can play a big part in the overall time taken to travel between Sydney and Canberra plus landing delays, missed flight connections or traffic delays around Sydney.

I have just compared some of the Qatar fares originating from Canberra to the corresponding Sydney fares and they are in most cases on par with little monetary penalty for the Canberra leg. Depending on which dates and destinations you choose some add an extra few hours of transit time, although again most travel/transit times are close and within 1-2 hours of existing Emirates and Etihad services. The Qatar option would allow us to eliminate the extra domestic airfares or car rental charges we have paid previously and better consolidate our total travel times when departing from Canberra. Layover times in the Middle East for most, but not all connections are short.

If we can go through customs in Canberra we are not dragging our luggage between terminals or car rental in Sydney. Money-wise Qatar’s Canberra connection will significantly decrease our costs and effort on CBR/SYD/CBR for the first and final legs of the trip. If Qatar continues to carry through over time by maintaining price and scheduling (unlike Singapore Airlines) then we will be using the service regularly.

There are not many places in the Middle East Qatar is flying to at present.
https://qatarairways.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115008258048-Suspension-of-Flights-to-Kingdom-of-Saudi-Arabia-UAE-Egypt-and-Kingdom-of-Bahrain

And they never fly to Tel Aviv either.

Southerly_views 4:38 pm 29 Jul 17

The proposed Qatar Canberra service compares favourably with the existing Sydney services offered by Emirates and Etihad. We fly to Middle East and African destinations either individually or together as a family and have always struggled to complete the painful Canberra/Sydney/Canberra connections in terms of logistics, time taken and cost. We have tried flying and renting cars to get to Sydney but the air travel cost or rental charges are still substantial when compared to the other legs of the trip. Also there are often long incoming customs transit times in Sydney which can play a big part in the overall time taken to travel between Sydney and Canberra plus landing delays, missed flight connections or traffic delays around Sydney.

I have just compared some of the Qatar fares originating from Canberra to the corresponding Sydney fares and they are in most cases on par with little monetary penalty for the Canberra leg. Depending on which dates and destinations you choose some add an extra few hours of transit time, although again most travel/transit times are close and within 1-2 hours of existing Emirates and Etihad services. The Qatar option would allow us to eliminate the extra domestic airfares or car rental charges we have paid previously and better consolidate our total travel times when departing from Canberra. Layover times in the Middle East for most, but not all connections are short.

If we can go through customs in Canberra we are not dragging our luggage between terminals or car rental in Sydney. Money-wise Qatar’s Canberra connection will significantly decrease our costs and effort on CBR/SYD/CBR for the first and final legs of the trip. If Qatar continues to carry through over time by maintaining price and scheduling (unlike Singapore Airlines) then we will be using the service regularly.

dungfungus 9:48 pm 27 Jul 17

bigred said :

I cannot see myself using it. My psychological well being does not cope with being jammed into a long metal tube for 15 hours, with the prospect of another 7 or 8 hours commencing soon after. I prefer what Singapore Airlines offer, especially now that they are talking about tweaking the timings.

Add a couple more hours because it goes to Sydney first.

JC 12:33 pm 27 Jul 17

Chris Steel MLA said :

It appears like the proposed Canberra to Qatar route has much shorter stopovers for connections to Europe than the Singapore Capital Express route which often involves a long wait at Changi airport.

That is because Singapore’s route is mostly optimised for connections to Asia and London which has multiple flights a day, unlike most other European destinations. And the timing changes will include even more Asian connections.

bigred 9:39 am 27 Jul 17

I cannot see myself using it. My psychological well being does not cope with being jammed into a long metal tube for 15 hours, with the prospect of another 7 or 8 hours commencing soon after. I prefer what Singapore Airlines offer, especially now that they are talking about tweaking the timings.

Chris Steel MLA 5:49 pm 26 Jul 17

It appears like the proposed Canberra to Qatar route has much shorter stopovers for connections to Europe than the Singapore Capital Express route which often involves a long wait at Changi airport.

dungfungus 11:48 am 26 Jul 17

Unless they have premium economy I am not interested.

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