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Australia's first Boeing 787: Qatar Airways puts Dreamliner onto Perth-Doha

By John Walton     Filed under: perth, 787, Boeing 787, Boeing 787 Dreamliner, qatar, Qatar Airways, Doha

Qatar Airways is bringing the Boeing 787 to Australia, with the next-gen jetliner entering service on daily Perth-Doha flights from 1 February 2013. 

This marks Australia's first scheduled passenger service for the advanced aircraft, with Qatar Airways beating the likes of China Southern and Jetstar for bragging rights to the Dreamliner's down-under debut.

Qatar is rapidly rolling out its new Boeing 787s, having taken delivery of the first of 60 Dreamliners -- with a list price of US$207 million -- only last month, with the inaugural flight to London's Heathrow airport this Friday 14 December.

"From February we will be able to offer the UK and western Australian markets a single 787 product all the way, giving our passengers a whole new long-haul experience on the world's newest aircraft" said Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker.

"From Perth, passengers are able to easily connect via Doha to more (than) 80 destinations worldwide, including over 30 in Europe."

Read: Why business travellers will love Boeing's 787 Dreamliner

Inside Qatar Airway's Boeing 787

The 22 business class seats in the nose of Qatar's Dreamliner follow a passenger-pleasing 1-2-1 layout with fully flat beds and direct aisle access for every passenger.

The cabin is bright, modern and streamlined, with Qatar opting to skip a super-luxe first class offering.

Down the back in economy, there's less good news: Qatar has chosen an elbow-crunching 3-3-3 layout with 232 narrow seats.

For more: join us on a full on-the-plane photo tour of Qatar's Boeing 787 Dreamliner!

Qatar senior media relations officer Christine Sarkis confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that "everyday [sic] will be operated with a Boeing 787 on the Perth route" rather than run a mixed Boeing 777 / 787 schedule.

Doha-bound flight QR901 will depart Perth at 2245, arriving in Doha at 0510 the next morning.

The return QR900 for Perth will leave Doha at 0130, reaching Perth at 1720 the same day.

London Heathrow flights in particular have been carefully timed, with a brief 75-minute layover in Doha on the way to the UK and just 45 minutes on the way back to Perth.

Tickets for Qatar Airways' Boeing 787 Perth-Doha flights are now available from the airline's website or your travel booker.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT.

Want more Dreamliner? AusBT has you covered: 


About John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 12/12/12 by KG

 Interesting they choose PER and not MEL for their new bird. I guess the combination of expected load and distance made them to choose for this. Another interesting route which QR apparently intends to start (at least they are floating the idea) is a fifth freedom route ATH-JFK! Wonder if this one materializes, imagine being able to fly from PER to JFK on a 787 all the way.....

2 on 13/12/12 by rcooper

Actually Doha to Perth makes a lot of sense, if they had routed it to Melbourne they would have halved the number of business class seats on offer and economy capacity would reduce by about 40 seats, the 787 carries a lot less passengers than the 777.  Loads to MEL are strong for QR. 

The business class is meant to be really impressive on the QR 787, but the economy class really cramped and not a pleasant experience at all (the same is being said for United, Air India and Ethiopian 787s as well). 

Each seat is 2.5 inches less wide than on their 777s and A340-600s thats a huge difference on that long Doha to Australia trip.  I think class of travel is going to determine whether the 787 is a good aircraft to travel on or to avoid

I think the Athens to NY is very likely to happen - they are filling a gap in the market


3 on 13/12/12 by Al

I agree, Melbourne would have been more of a 'drawcard' for Qatar's new show pony.

1 on 13/12/12 by KG

Economically it does make sense to put the bird on PER. As they fly a 777 there now 3x a week I presume that by putting the 787 on PER daily QR will be able to fill her up (due to the smaller aircraft despite the daily frequency). The 787 is interesting, it enables airlines to fly routes otherwise not feasible with their existing fleet. Like with the ATH-JFK route, I am sure the demand will not be huge but as rcooper mentioned, they will fill a gap in the market and with a relative small plane that has low operating costs it could be successful.

4 on 13/12/12 by John

Don't forget that Perth is 11 hours from Doha and Melbourne is 15. That means a single Qatar 787 can do a daily return to Perth, but a Melbourne daily would require two planes.

1 on 13/12/12 by KG

They flight schedule to PER does not allow for a turnaround of the plane though, so they use two. More likely that the same 787 flies on to LHR (hence the short time on the ground in DOH for passengers connecting to LHR).

1 on 13/12/12 by John

Looks like formatting got stripped off my comment — I meant to emphasise that a Qatar 787 can do a single daily rotation, even though it's not planned at present. I agree with you on the likely LHR same-plane connection, mind.

2 on 13/12/12 by yeamanator132

John, even though perth is 11 hours behind, that only allows a 1 hour connection at each end - which is not evident at all, unless the same plane goes onto London and back, which would mean they would need 3 x787 for the rotation

1 on 13/12/12 by John

Valid point — and my italicised emphasis got stripped out of the comment, alas. I meant to emphasise that 787 can do a single-day rotation to Perth with a quick turnaround, since these are fairly small jets in the wider scheme of things. 

5 on 13/12/12 by V1213

PER does make sense in that it fits well with the LHR rotation and matches loads. The 787 is an ideal aircraft for most markets out of PER due to its location so it doesn't come as too much surprise that it's the first port in Australia, especially considering it's a service from an overseas airline.

Can't wait for QR to get into Oneworld as this makes a very attractive alternative to the EK (QF) flights. Any thoughts on whether an EK 380 or a QR 787 would make for a nicer journey?

1 on 13/12/12 by KG

As EK A380 has an F cabin I would think that is the nicer journey if seated in F, cannot judge on business (have flown EK in F suite and it is great). Never flew QR but reviews are very good and as yourself, can't wait til they join OW.  I will probably only start flying when I can earn points (which is only early  2014, so still some time away...)

6 on 13/12/12 by chookysoop

The article mentions QR current currently operate three times weekly to Perth. QR have been operating daily to Perth since the start of December with a combination of 77Ws and 77Ls.

7 on 15/12/12 by Poisson

I'm booked on Qatar Perth - CDG via Doh in March, so quite excited about the new aircraft. However SWMBO always wants a window seat, but the the 1-2-1 layout there's no way for that to happen and for us to sit together. The seat map is a bit strange - it shows us sitting together but in a single aisle layout. based on the picture above I might change to 1E & 1F - any thoughts?

I usually fly economy, but  there is no way I'd ever fly economy in such a crushed cabin as offered by Qatar. That would be a deal breaker, and I'd try a different airline.

8 on 17/1/13 by Joshua

The PER market is extremely buoyant and loads are extremely high on this route already - nearly 100% on flights I have taken. EK has just added a 3rd daily and SQ an additional service. There simply isn't the supply for the demand, PER is booming. MEL growth is somewhat stagnant... I wouldn't be surprised if there were 2 daily services by QR end of 2013. 


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