Qatar Airways has marked its seventh anniversary in Melbourne, Australia, by announcing plans to introduce its superjumbo A380 aircraft to Melburnians from 30 June 2017 in order to meet rising passenger demand.
The 517-seater A380 aircraft will increase Qatar Airways’ current daily capacity by 44% on this route to meet the growing travel and trade demand, connecting Melbourne-based passengers and freight to more than 150 destinations globally.
Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, said:
As we continue to grow apace in Australia, we have seen a clear need to inject additional capacity on the Melbourne service. We are delighted to introduce our A380 aircraft to Melbourne after seven years of operation to the world’s most liveable city. Well-travelled Melburnians will find our seamless and quick connections via Doha’s Hamad International Airport a great and easy travel option. And our expansive European network provides plenty of homecoming options for one of Australia’s most culturally diverse cities, which is home to many families from European heritage including the United Kingdom, Italy and Greece.’
Melbourne is the original home for Qatar Airways in Australia, with the airline adding services to Perth, Sydney and Adelaide thereafter. The airline first started flying to Australia’s second largest city on 6 December 2009 with a 259-seater B777 aircraft. With the introduction of daily A380 services, capacity on the Melbourne route will have increased two-fold since 2009.
The A380 aircraft features a luxurious and exclusive First Class Cabin with ultra-wide seats, which recline into a flat bed, two-passenger table extension dining, and designer sleeper suits, flight slippers and amenities. Passengers travelling in Qatar Airways’ award-winning Business Class can also enjoy direct aisle access with the 1-2-1 seat configuration and a suite of entertainment options including on-board Wi-Fi, keeping them fully connected while up in the air.
In addition, passengers in First and Business Class can relax and socialise at the on-board lounge located on the upper deck of the superjumbo.
The 517-seat capacity is spread across twin decks in a tri-class configuration of eight seats in First Class, 48 seats in Business Class and 461 in Economy Class, featuring world class amenities and first rate services that set it apart from other aircraft. Passengers travelling from Melbourne to London and Paris can enjoy the Qatar Airways A380 experience throughout their journey to these two European destinations.
Economy Class passengers also benefit with the added spaciousness of the A380, with higher ceilings on the main deck, a wider seat configuration and design to offer more legroom plus contoured headrests.
When transiting through Qatar Airways’ hub, Hamad International Airport in Doha, passengers travelling from Melbourne can enjoy a comfortable and efficient transit. The luxurious and modern airport has more than 40,000 square metres of retail space and restaurants including more than 70 retail and 30 food and beverage outlets, as well as a 25-metre swimming pool, gym, hotel and spa. Premium passengers can also enjoy resting in two award-winning lounges – the Al Safwa First Lounge and the Al Mourjan Business Lounge. The former is the first world’s first airline lounge to be accorded the Seven Star First Lounge Award by the Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards, famed as the ‘Oscars of Luxury’.
For travellers who would like to turn their transit into a stopover experience, they can also take advantage of the new 96-hour transit visa offered in partnership with the Qatar Tourism Authority. Transiting passengers can explore the various highlights Doha has to offer – from the world-renowned Museum of Islamic Art to the Katara Cultural Village or desert safaris to bustling and cosmopolitan city scape.
In addition to capacity increases in key cities, Qatar Airways continues to expand its global reach. In 2016 alone, Qatar Airways also launched services to Adelaide (Australia), Atlanta (USA), Birmingham (UK), Boston (USA), Helsinki, (Finland), Los Angeles (USA), Marrakech (Morocco), Pisa (Italy), Ras Al Khaimah (UAE), Mahé (Seychelles), Sydney (Australia), Windhoek (Namibia) and Yerevan (Armenia).
Doha (DOH) – Melbourne (MEL) QR904 Departs: 8:50 pm Arrives: 5:20 pm (+1)
Melbourne (MEL) – Doha (DOH) QR905 Departs: 10:05 pm Arrives: 5:25 am (+1)