Details drop of Qatar Airways’ first Canberra-Doha flights

Andrew Munro 25 July 2017 NEWS

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Canberra's getting a new daily route to the rest of the world.

Canberrans were celebrating last year as Qatar Airways announced that it would be commencing Canberra-Doha flights, opening up the Middle East and Europe for much easier travel.

Now more details are out, with Qatar reporting that it's going to be a daily trip with the first flight set to take off from Canberra on 13 February 2018. This is part of the airline's accelerated schedule for new routes, and will see Canberra joining Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide as a departure point.

This new daily Canberra-Doha route serves a double purpose, as it also routes through Sydney, effectively doubling the number of daily Doha flights from Sydney, while simultaneously opening up travel through Doha from Canberra.

The daily routes will be served by a 358 seat Boeing 777-300, and even if travellers from Canberra don't fill up flights every day, Sydneysiders are probably sure to grab the remaining spots.

Flight schedule, subject to regulatory approval
QR906Doha-SydneyDeparts 8.10am, arrives 6.15am (+1)
QR906Sydney-CanberraDeparts 7.25am, arrives 8.25am
QR907Canberra-SydneyDeparts 1.45pm, arrives 2.45 pm
QR907Sydney-DohaDeparts 3.55pm, arrives 10.30pm

Why Doha's such a big deal

The award-winning "world's best airline" is accelerating its schedule partly in response to overwhelming demand for flights through Doha, Qatar. As the country's national carrier, Qatar Airways is naturally one of few airlines that can seamlessly organise transfers through this perfectly situated airport.

This busy hub serves as the the Southern Hemisphere's perfect gateway to Europe, and its location makes it especially suitable for Australians. This might be why Qatar Airways is paying a disproportionate amount of attention to the land down under, and opening up flights where others haven't.

The airline previously cut back on flights from Australia, cancelling its daily Adelaide-Doha flights following a shortage of planes, but very quickly made plans to bring it back, after it became apparent that Australians are making great use of this interchange.

In March 2017, Doha was getting 53% more travellers stopping over compared to 12 months before, and that kind of growth is probably going to continue. Especially as Qatar Airways sweetens the deal with amenities like free 5-star hotel accommodation for travellers spending the night in Qatar's capital while en route to elsewhere.

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