Qatar Airways Launching Flights To Sydney In 2016

Miles & points collectors in Australia should rejoice, as Qatar Airways has just announced that they’re adding a daily flight between Sydney and Doha in 2016.

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Qatar Airways will launch daily, nonstop, Boeing 777-300ER flights between Doha and Sydney as of March 1, 2016. The new flight will operate with the following frequency:

QR908 Doha to Sydney departing 8:10PM arriving 6:05PM (+1 day)
QR909 Sydney to Doha departing 10:20PM arriving 5:05AM (+1 day)

The ~7,700 mile flight is blocked at 13hr55min eastbound, and 14hr45min westbound.

The fact that Qatar Airways hasn’t yet flown to Sydney puzzles many, given that they operate daily flights to Melbourne and Perth. It seems a bit odd to fly to those cities and not Sydney. The lack of service has an easy explanation, though — the Australian government just increased Qatar’s rights to fly to Australia by 50%, from 14 weekly flights, to 21.

QR-Australia

As of now, Qatar Airways’ 777-300ERs feature fully flat beds in business class, with a total of 42 seats spread across seven rows in a 2-2-2 configuration. It’s not the most modern business class product, though it is comfortable, especially when traveling with a companion.

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Qatar Airways has claimed for a while now that they’ll introduce a “super business class,” and when that happens, it should debut on the 777s.

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This new route should also be exciting for those with American AAdvantage miles, as American lets you route from Australia to Europe via the Middle East on award tickets, as long as you fly Qatar Airways. That might seem obvious and logical, but booking a similar award ticket for travel on Etihad Airways would require two separate awards.

American AAdvantage charges the following one-way for awards originating in Australia:

  • Australia to Middle East: 30,000 miles economy, 45,000 miles business
  • Australia to Europe: 45,000 miles economy, 60,000 miles business

The new flight is bookable, though as of now I’m only seeing economy award space, for the most part.

Qatar-Sydney

I suspect we’ll see considerably more business class award space soon, as Qatar Airways does make four business class award seats available per flight pretty regularly.

Bottom line

This is an exciting, logical route for Qatar Airways to launch, given their new rights to operate more flights to Australia. While Emirates is by far the largest of the “big three” Gulf carriers, Qatar Airways is undergoing some exciting expansion over the coming year, including adding new flights to the US.

Are you excited to see Qatar Airways’ new flight between Sydney and Doha?

Comments

  1. Wish they would have made it an A380 route, flight is long enough to enjoy F cabin and Bar. But yes definitely a nice addition.

  2. They have avoided services to SYD for so long because of SYDs annoying curfew. They want to depart as late as possible at night to allow easy connections onto Europe.

  3. @Ben That curfew is not so annoying if you live near the flight path in Sydney as I do. Still, the news of the new flights out of Sydney is exciting. Pricing is pretty average at this stage.

  4. Quite surprised they don’t fly an A380 to SYD, as it still puts them behind EK and EY. Not sure how His Excellency tolerated that 😉

  5. @2pax: Unless you bought your place before they opened the public airfield in 1923, you don’t have anything to complain about. Proximity to the flight path is built into the price you paid. Considering aircraft are quieter today than ever before, you’re also putting up with less noise than you did 10 or 20 years ago.

    Still, I think they should turn Kingsford Smith into a domestic/regional airport for businesses in the CBD like LaGuardia or Toronto Billy Bishop and shift all the international traffic to a 24/7 field at Badgerys Creek. Proximity to the airport is important if you’re trying to make a quick day trip to Melbourne or Brisbane, but if you’re flying to London or New York it’s less critical.

  6. Ben, just to clarify — we can route from Australia to Europe via the Middle East on both Qantas and Qatar, but not Etihad? Seems perverse.

  7. @Josh, you can, it just requires two seperate awards, so 75k miles for business and 100k for first. If you’re flying EY’s A380 in F the whole way SYD-LHR, the miles premium is probably worth it.

  8. The SYD departure time is surprising. Curfew is 11pm so there is very little buffer for delays before there is a long delay until next morning.

  9. Is it my imagination or has transatlantic QR premium class partner award availability dried up? I thought I remembered lots of J seats being available in the past.

  10. Boeing 777 3-4-3 seats for economy ? no thanks.
    they used to be 3-3-3… I guess I will stick with Cathay and Singapore to Europe.
    how much did they pay for the rewards ?

  11. @ Jason However it seems Qr doesn’t play on the Sydney to Europe flights. I have search for a few monts and every time there is a Business awards seat on either Cathay or Singapore the run to HKG or SIN is on QR economy

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