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Qatar Airways launches Sydney flights

By David Flynn     Filed under: sydney, Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways will elbow its way into Australia's largest and most competitive travel market when the Gulf carrier begins daily flights between Sydney and its Doha hub this week.

The Oneworld member and de facto Qantas partner is most noticeably going toe-to-toe against its 'Gulf three' siblings and rivals Emirates and Etihad, which between them have five daily flights including both airlines' A380 superjumbos.

Qatar's Sydney-Doha flights will operate on a Boeing 777-300ER with fully-flat business class beds – the same aircraft as used on the Melbourne route.

AusBT review: Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER business class, Melbourne to Doha

Flight QR909 departs Sydney at 10.20pm to reach Doha at 5.05am the next day, with a stream of onwards connections to London and Europe.

The companion flight QR908 is set for wheels-up from Doha at 8.10pm for an 6.05pm arrival into Sydney.

Qatar will drop another pin into its Aussie network map in May with the launch of flights to Adelaide using the new Airbus A350, which features the airline's latest lie-flat business class seats with a spacious 1-2-1 configuration.

Each seat converts to an 80 inch fully flat bed and has its own 17 inch high-definition personal video screen.

Photo tour: Qatar Airbus A350 business class

Flight QR915 will be wheels-up from Adelaide at 9.30pm and reach Doha at 4.50am the next day, with onwards connections to the Europe and the UK, while the companion flight QR914 from Doha departs at 8.55pm to arriving into Adelaide at 4.25pm the following day.

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About David Flynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 25/9/15 by Bizflyer

It would be nice to see the A380 on the route to give them a full LHR-DOH-SYD service with the same product to help against Etihad and Emrites. 

1 on 25/9/15 by Shoudy

Yes and will face a big competion to the middle east destinations like EK (Dubai), QF (Dubai), EY (Etihad). 


2 on 30/9/15 by Andy H

Would also be good if they offer the A380 for MEL too, would give them an competitive edge over EY's x2 daily services and the EK/QF x4 daily combo. There were talks of MEL going A380 at some stage, QR definitely has made a name for itself in MEL and knows the market well.

3 on 2/3/16 by kimshep

Sorry, but we're NOT discussing EK here with their fleet of 50+ A380's to play with.

While it might be 'nice' to have a QR A380 on SYD and also one on MEL, that's all it will be - 'nice', a 'thought-bubble.

No carrier in its right mind opens a brand new route with the world's largest and most expensive jet. Perhaps, sometime down the road - when the carrier has at least some minimal experience with the route - or when they have finite figures which can demonstrate that moving an A380 from one destination to another would successfullly increase revenue.

 I would also suggest that you have a look of how many A380's exist in QR's fleet. As said, we are NOT talking EK.

1 on 2/3/16 by Dave

"No carrier in its right mind opens a brand new route with the world's largest and most expensive jet."


My first thoughts when I read the comment too

1 on 3/3/16 by KG

It appears that "some time down the road" is June!! 

2 on 25/9/15 by russell

Just what the QFI J lounge needs, more premium pax to squeeze in...

1 on 25/9/15 by madge

To meet EU connecting flights, QR will probably depart around 10PM. The QF lounges aren't too busy at that time.

3 on 25/9/15 by Broderick

Any airline that operates 9 abreast in Economy on a 777 is worthy of flying with in my books.

1 on 25/9/15 by nix584

Soon to go 10 abreast though... But having flown QR Y on the 77W, A320 and A330, they offer a great product down the back.

1 on 25/9/15 by Jason

Their B787 is a nightmare though. Really tight squeeze for Y pax

1 on 26/9/15 by Bizflyer

In all fairnes I dont have a massive deal with 9 abrest Y on the 787 it isn't all bad and Qatar is one of the best in my opnion 

1 on 30/9/15 by StudiodeKadent

Well Qatar's 787 seats are even narrower than those of most 9-abreast 787 operators. They're about 16.9" wide (!).

BA are finding a way to install 17.8" seats at 9-abreast in a 787. That is certainly tolerable (with enough booze). Qatar's seats are absolutely tiny, however.

2 on 27/9/15 by Bizflyer

Only on some of them!!

4 on 25/9/15 by ashnic7g

Sydney will be a tough market for QR to crack. Curfew means that they have a limited connection proposition in Doha, and existing competition is fierce, especially with QF / EK and VA / EY working together.

That said, more competition will be good news for customers.

1 on 28/9/15 by gazzaoak

Can be possable, QR can leave Doha around 11pm or so and arrive around late afternoon/early evening to sydney, and then leave Sydney just before the curfew

5 on 25/9/15 by Allan

A top airline...if not the best I've flown on...Would love to see them into Sydney;

I suspect QF will try to 'think' hard how to lock QR pax out of their lounges !

1 on 25/9/15 by Himeno

If that were to happen, they could just do the same that QR did with their DOH and LHR lounges.

2 on 25/9/15 by Stuart Jackson

Yes one of the best J products I've flown (A350,A380) would not hesitate to choose them again over QF,EK to Europe 

6 on 25/9/15 by Broderick

With the introduction of ANA in December and hopefully QR in the near future, this will mean SYD will be served by 6 of the 7 5-Star Airlines in the world, the only exception being Hainan Airlines.

7 on 26/9/15 by Rishi

Wow Sydney will soon become one of the very main airports in the future with all these new services coming in.

1 on 30/9/15 by Darren

Sydney is certainly getting a few new airlines.....

Xiamen Air, ANA and American Airlines all within 3 weeks of each other at the end of the year.

Then Qatar and possibly Turkish in 2016.

2 on 2/10/15 by Nick Sydney 2

Careful Rishi what you ...we wil have everyone from Melbourne and Perth chiming in if they read your post. LOL

1 on 2/10/15 by Frank

Given up complaining, nobody cares, seems we'll just gave to hang out for Malindo to start flying here..

8 on 28/9/15 by maabbot

Wonder what Qantas and Emirates think of world alliance partner vs strategic partner, both from the middle east.

1 on 30/9/15 by Arcanum

QF should have hooked up with QR in the first place instead of EK.  That would have made a formidable pairing, and QF would have been a real partner as opposed to the current EK arrangement.

1 on 1/10/15 by jyh189

Qantas and Qatar definitely has a nice ring to it

9 on 30/9/15 by russell

Double red eye....ouch.

1 on 30/9/15 by NZFlyer

As are most Australia to Middle east flights and if your doing Australia to Europe or vv in one go, its pretty much impossible to do all as daylight flights. 

2 on 2/10/15 by Jonnie

Agree.  When I do Bangkok to Europe on EK,  it's late nite early morning for each flight and I'm just a zombie throughout. 

10 on 30/9/15 by Mark

Brisbane next?

1 on 30/9/15 by hutch

Well these flights will exhaust the (freshly increased) allocation of flights between Aus-Qatar. So not in the near future.

11 on 30/9/15 by hutch

Not much time for tech issues in Sydney. 

12 on 30/9/15 by Ross

Wonder how long it will be before the 77W is swapped out for the BKK A380?

That would heat things up amongst the M3!

1 on 30/9/15 by StudiodeKadent

And it would also provide Qatar's best product to Sydney. Their A380 Economy seats are 18.5" wide, which is generous.

13 on 1/10/15 by Chris_PER

I'd expect Brisbane before 2017 too.

14 on 2/10/15 by AFL_SBDN

They could begin the first A350 to Australia. 

1 on 2/3/16 by kimshep

QR begins ADL service at the beginning of May .. and yes, with their A350-900.

Frankly, this is a smart move from QR. It may allow them to grab some credible traction in the ADL market with QF not bothering to compete in the ADL (international) market and with EK competing with older and more ordinary B777's.

Whilst QR has experienced a slower ramp-up in Australia, it has allowed them to establish and defend a decent presence in PER, a significant niche presence in MEL - to which they are now adding SYD and ADL. And most of this appears to be built on reputation for service and word-of-mouth recommendations.

15 on 2/10/15 by bl812

certainly the arrival time is much better than the one for Melbourne if you want to connect for a domestic flight like to Adelaide

16 on 5/10/15 by HEM

What ever what who ever who comes are most welcome to this great City BUT and BUT  what we all the citizens wants is cheap airline tickets to fly around the world. when the Aussie is  dollar going where ever to where ever due to manupulating of currency or not  we all wants to fly to europ for 1200 or less.  not  for 1400 or 1700.

We all will get stuck in here and every one out side will have a nice holiday if not wasting our resourcers food nature and the beautiful sceens.  

sincerly hope QR will give us that around 1000 Aussie dollars return to anywhere they go to europe will make them the best sold airline. Then comes others too to match it.

AI came with a good fare to india in the start but they tricked all of us later. money money money. 

1 on 5/10/15 by Roger

 HEM  Waat   U  saying  man? who   fly   u  to   europe   for 1000 dollars? you  not get  to   fly  to  india  even   for  that   price.

2 on 3/3/16 by FLX

<<sincerely hope QR will give us that around 1000 Aussie dollars return to anywhere they go to europe...Al came with a good fare to India in the star but they tricked all of us later.  money....>>

Such QR deal is purely promo & short-term in nature(To help get fm 0 customer to some customers on a route) and trust me, not even remotely econ sustainable in the long term for QR(Nor any carrier) if U hv a slight clue about airline op cost on such long flights.

It's really just simple math+a bit of common sense and U won't need a MBA degree to figure that one out.  See the following example /illustration for a SYD-DOH-LHR itin /operation by QR:

1)  Your lowest Y fare=AUD 1,000

2)  Total R/T distance=35,000km+

3)  Rev$ earned fm U by QR per km=Below AUD0.03 per km

Except walking /jogging(But U hv to be fasting because food costs $), there's practically no mode of transportation exists in Australia(Actually, almost anywhere on earth), for short or long journeys, that charge /cost U only 3 cents to carry U for every km travelled.  A 1way train ride between SYD int and domestic terminal is less than 2km, cost @ least AUD4..meaning AUD2 earned per km by SYD airport authority or about 70x higher earning per km than what QR can earn from AUD1,000 airfare to/fm London.....and the airport authority won't even load 20kg of your bags(U hv to load them onto the train by yourself), feed U 4 meals+wine/beer, give U non-stop movies to watch, etc. like QR will be...  If an airline can offer the same trip for AUD1,500 yr-round across yrs, it's pretty darn good already and they will still be @ a financial loss.

AI's launch deal was a similar story...they would hv been bankrupted yrs ago if they continued such fare even when armed with nearly bottomless gov't subsidy/funding.  So lets try to be just a tad more econ realistic here before concluding a <trick> has been/will be played onto consumers by any airline....

<<we all wants to fly to europ for 1200 or less.  not for 1400 or 1700.>>

Might as well make it<<we all want to fly to Europe for free whenever we want, not for 1200, 1400 or 1700>>.  Welcome to Econ costs something to produce something...

17 on 5/10/15 by Roger

now  all   sydney   needs is  a  world  class  International  terminal!

1 on 2/3/16 by mrmaxwell

Exactly - SYD cannot keep adding airlines and additional flights - IT IS ALREADY FULL!

I flew out Dec 15th last goodness what a mess T1 was in.

18 on 2/3/16 by TheRealBabushka

"The Oneworld member and de facto Qantas partner..."

Isn't QR the de jure Qantas partner, since both are rightfully in the Oneworld alliance?

The de facto Qantas partner is EK, where Qantas has chosen to pursue a special arrangement with EK outside of the Oneworld alliance.

1 on 3/3/16 by Alex_upgrade

Well QF and EK have a joint services agreement whereas QF and QR are simply alliance bedfellows (and uncomfortable ones at that).

I see your point though.

Sadly EK are just so huge now that QF probably wouldn't have been able to get the reach it has through EK if it had gone with QR.

PLUS.... BA and QR are very close. And I understand the divorce lawyers are still making millions after the QF/BA spilt..

1 on 3/3/16 by TheRealBabushka

I just think it's ironical that we had Irishmen at the helm of both companies when this imperial alliance was shattered. 

19 on 3/3/16 by Joe

I think QF/QR/BA/AA alliance would have been a great team and with all already being OW bonus.

20 on 5/3/16 by Mc

IMHO QR currently has the better J class product. Why indulge in an EK J class experience where the seat is 18.5 inches wide (SQ  Y is 19 inches) and is so cramped  when you can get 22 inches on a QR 777. Even EY is only 20 inches in J. The only issue for me will be lounge access in SYD if QF start to kick up. The QR lounge in MAN is very poor compared to EK but then I'm on the plane for 14 hours and the lounge 2 max.


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