Qatar Airways celebrated the arrival of its first flight from Doha to Sydney, making it the airline’s third gateway into Australia.

A delegation of VIPs from Qatar, including Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar al-Baker, was met from the aircraft by Sydney Airport managing director and CEO Kerrie Mather, official secretary to the governor of New South Wales Colonel Michael Miller, Destination NSW chairman John Hartigan and Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan.

With this, the airline now operates a Boeing 777-300 daily from Doha to Sydney connecting Australian passengers to its global network of more than 150 destinations. Qatar Airways has been serving Australia since 2009 when it commenced flights to Melbourne, later adding flights to Perth in 2012.

Al-Baker said, “Touching down here in Sydney for the first time is an important milestone for Qatar Airways and for the people of Australia. We are delighted to be able to offer passengers flying from Sydney the opportunity to connect to more than 150 places on our global network via our state-of-the-art airport in Doha.

“I would like to personally thank Sydney Airport and the city authorities for welcoming us and look forward to strengthening our relationship with them and the people of Australia in the coming years as we all go places together.”

The new service will provide 84 tonnes of cargo capacity per week in and out of the New South Wales capital, connecting Australia’s leading exporters to Qatar Airways Cargo’s global network of more than 150 stations around the world.

Qatar Airways Cargo already carries 301 tonnes of freight in the belly hold of its Boeing 777 passenger aircraft into and out of Perth and Melbourne per week.

Mather said, “We’re thrilled to welcome Qatar Airways to Sydney Airport. The new daily service will boost tourism, providing an additional 245,000 seats per year, generating an estimated 3,000 jobs and contributing more than AUD$240mn to the Australian economy.

“It will also foster trade, providing greater air cargo capacity and access to the Middle East. Australian exports to Doha grew by 23% last year, and Qatar’s high demand for livestock, cereal, meat, dairy products and crops provides a significant opportunity for Australian exporters.”

NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres noted, “I am delighted to welcome the first Qatar Airways flight to Sydney, which will provide a valuable increase in aviation capacity from the Middle East and greater connectivity to Sydney and regional NSW, particularly for travellers flying from the UK and Europe via Doha."

With an average connection time of 90 minutes via the airline’s hub at Hamad International Airport, passengers travelling from Sydney can “expect a smooth and seamless journey to their final destination”, the statement notes.

The daily flight schedule is as follows: QR908 departing Doha at 8.10pm and arriving in Sydney at 6.05pm (+1), and QR909 departing Sydney at 10.20pm and arriving in Doha at 5.05am (+1).

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