Qatar Airways launched its first flight to the Australian continent with its non-stop Doha Melbourne service using its latest Boeing 777-200LR delivered just a few days ago.
The 42 2–2–2 configured Business Class seats convert into 180 degree horizontal flat beds with a 78-inch pitch. In Economy Class, the 217 passenger seating is nine abreast in a 3–3–3 configuration and a seat pitch of up to 34 inches.
The flight is initially three-times-a-week on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
QR030 departs Doha at 00:45hrs and arrives Melbourne at 22:25
QR031 departs Melbourne at 23:55 and arrives Doha at 06:25 the following day
The Doha-based airline will take delivery of another Boeing 777-200LR late this month and immediately use the aircraft on the Melbourne route, stepping up frequency to daily from January 1, 2010.
The launch of flights to Melbourne ahead of the busy holiday season ends a year of further growth for the airline, which also launched services to Houston and both Amritsar and Goa in India during 2009.
Qatar Airways has an aggressive expansion plan with orders for over 220 aircraft worth more than US$ 40 billion over the next few years. A brand new airport under construction in the airline’s home city of Doha, Qatar, indicates the emirates commitment to expand and strengthen its national carrier.
At 21 hours and 40 minutes, Qatar Airways offers the quickest scheduled flight times between Melbourne and London.
Qatar Airways plans to launch daily non-stop flights between Doha and Sydney in 2010, also using the same Boeing 777-200 Long Range aircraft as on the Melbourne route.
Last month at the World Travel Awards in London, Qatar Airways once again won the World’s Best Business Class title. Earlier this year, Qatar Airways won several awards at the annual Skytrax passenger survey awards, including Best Economy Class in the world, Best Cabin Crew in the Middle East for the seventh year running and Best Airline in the Middle East for the fourth consecutive year. In addition, Qatar Airways’ overall Skytrax global ranking for 2009 rose to fourth in the world.