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Qatar nixes planned Sydney flights

By David Flynn     Filed under: qatar, Qatar Airways

In brief: Qatar Airways is looking to add a second Australian city to its current Melbourne-only schedule, but says that Sydney Airport's high cost and nightly curfew weigh against it.

Speaking with AAP's Jordan Chong, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al-Baker talked up the strong yields and fewer restrictions of Melbourne's Tullamarine in comparison with Sydney's Kingsford Smith.

"The curfew is a very big factor (of) not operating to Sydney and the operating cost out of Sydney is very high," Al-Baker observed.

"Melbourne is a more efficient use of airplanes because it is a 24-hour airport and Sydney is not, so we operate there", citing that Qatar could not afford to "park our airplanes for 12-13 hours in an airport".

Qatar began Australian operations in late 2009 and saw of Melbourne as one of two Australian routes, and Al-Baker claims this expansion remains on the agenda.


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 21/6/11 by samware

Would BNE be an alternative?

1 on 3/5/13 by Longreach

Certainly should have been.

2 on 22/6/11 by jordanmyer-smith

wouldn't the logical concept be to copy EK and have the aircraft fly a SYD-NZ sector in those 12 hours? or SYD - Noumea (lots of french destinations served by QR and could provide a quick link every couple of days between paris and noumea? or just have the min. layover time on the ground? Air canada turn the 777 around back to YVR in an hour.

3 on 24/8/13 by nicholas

Does this mean that sydney is not going to happen?


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