Qatar Airways Announce Canberra Services For 2017

Qatar Airways have just announced that the airline will be launching services to Canberra in 2017. This is the 5th Australian route the airline will operate.

Qatar already services Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide. The airline is performing quite well on all routes especially on the Sydney flight which got upgraded to their flagship A380 recently. Competition is very apparent between the ME3 and this could be the next step for QR to tease Etihad and Emirates.

At a conference today CEO Akbar Al Baker said the following statement:

“With today’s network announcement, we will be able to connect more people to more places than any other Gulf airline, and we will ensure our passengers will delight in the journey. At Qatar Airways, we are going places together with our passengers, and we look forward to welcoming these new destinations in 2017-18.”

I’m also more interested in what the airline will use as their equipment. I’m thinking they may use their 777 which feature an older product but who knows, Middle Eastern airlines never fail to surprise.

If this flight is approved this is fantastic news for Canberra airport which recently had it’s first International service operated by Singapore Airlines.

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Bottom Line

I’m very interested to see what Qatar does with the route.

Introduction – Battle of the ME3 – Etihad, Qatar and Emirates First Class

So by now I’m sure you can tell I love the Middle East, especially Abu Dhabi. I’m not sure how I got to love the place so much, but I do. In January I’m headed to London for the first time to visit. When I was thinking how am I going to get there, I had a rather nice idea. Because I’ve done Etihad quite a lot now why don’t I compare all ME3 in one trip? So I booked all 3 to compare one another in a single trip, and all on their flagship A380’s.

screenshot-2016-11-21-09-38-32

Leg one:

For the first leg, I will be flying on Qatar in first on their A380 from Sydney to Doha. I’m excited to fly them on this route because this is their only true ”long haul” route for their A380. I’ve flown Qatar in business class on their A350 and found the hard product to be excellent, but the soft product was quite lacking compared to their opposition.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class image - Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways A380 First Class image – Qatar Airways

Leg 2:

Well, this leg is also on Qatar but on an A320 to Dubai. I’m also very excited to trial their Al Safwa first lounge which looks brilliant.

Qatar A320 Business Class Image: Qatar Airways

Qatar A320 Business Class Image: Qatar Airways

Leg 3:

Excessive bling, AKA Emirates. I’ve flown Emirates many times across to Auckland and found the experience pretty great. However, I have never flown them over 3 hours. I’ll be flying them to London, and I’m excited to test them on a longer flight.

Emirates First Class

Emirates First Class image: Zac George

Leg 4:

Well, this was a given. I’ll be flying my beloved Etihad back to Abu Dhabi. I’ve flown them eight times in the past year all long-haul, and I’m interested to see what they are like on medium haul flights.

Etihad A380 Apartments

Etihad A380 Apartments Image: Zac George

Leg 5:

To be decided.

Bottom Line

I’m extremely excited for this trip and be able to review all 3 in a single trip. I’ll also be reviewing the lounges, so there will be many posts from the whole trip.

Qatar Airways And Bentley Offer VIP Transfers From Sydney

This maybe a little bit of old news but I still think it’s worth to write about. Qatar Airways have recently partnered with Luxury Limousines and Bently Sydney to provide ultra luxurious Bently transfers to and from the airport.

The chauffeur is available to select first and business class passengers, I’d say redemptions and saver tickets won’t be eligible.

The company is apparently using a white and maroon color to match the airline’s paint. This is a pretty cool promotion and it’s supposed to end at the end of November.

Bottom Line

This is a pretty enique promotion that I would say won’t happen very often. I would of liked to try one but buying a flexible first or business ticket doesn’t sound appealing for a car ride.

Doha Hamad Airport Now Has A Theme Song…

Qatar Airways is known for doing some weird and wonderful things but this one took it to another level.

Per DOHA NEWS

Qatar’s airport has a new theme song, and the country’s national carrier has just released a beautifully-shot video of it.

The anthem, called The Beginning, is the result of a collaboration between local singer-songwriter Dana Alfardan and the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO).

Here’s the video:

Bottom Line

The song is very well put together and actually enjoyable to listen to but, is a theme song really needed for an airport? Qatar never fails to turn heads.

Qatar Are *Unofficially* Status Matching

Earlier today I wrote about how people are now buying status online through Ebay as its cheap and fast, it is also against the programs rules. If you already hold a status you may or may not be aware that many airlines, hotels and rental car companies now ‘status match’. Basically a program will match your existing status for their equivalent level.

Some airlines like American Airlines and Qantas will offer a ‘status challenge’ and you have to earn a certain amount to reach the desired level of status.

Well for a few weeks now there has been rumours and words being exchanged about Qatar Airways having an unofficial status match. It is quite rare for this to happen however, a lot of people have had success in matching to their status.

Below is what Qatar need if you want a match.

Per the Qatar Privilege Club forum on Flyertalk,

1) Privilege Club membership number.

2) Copy of a valid other airline FFP card with name and FFP number).

3) Other airlines FFP account statement stating name, tier and FFP number.

4) Confirmed and ticketed travel on QR, minimum two weeks prior to departure.

You then send all of this information to membersvc@qmiles.com

A few flyers have reported that QR will match them to either Gold or Silver. This may depend on your travel schedule and how much you will fly the airline.

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Qatar Airways Gold

Bottom Line

This is a very rare event for the airline so if you have status and a future flight booked I would definitely take advantage of this.

Qatar Airways Commence A380 Services To Sydney

Qatar Airways have tonight commenced their A380 services into Sydney. The Doha-based carrier has previously been operating their 777-300ER on the route and has now upgraded the flight to their pride and joy A380.

Qatar Airways A380 Arriving Into Sydney Image - Bernard Proctor

Qatar Airways A380 Arriving Into Sydney Image – Bernard Proctor

In terms of passenger comfort passengers will be very happy with what the A380 offers, especially in first and business class.

The 777 previously operating the route did not have a first class cabin so travellers wanting more than business class will be very happy to first class available direct to Doha.

Qatar Airways A380 First Class image - Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways A380 First Class image – Qatar Airways

Qatar also has a brilliant business class product on their A380 which is known as ‘Reverse Herringbone’ seating. I flew these seats on their A350, and the business seating is identical.

Qatar A350 Business Class image - Zac George

Qatar A350 Business Class image – Zac George

Qatar also has their popular in-flight bar on their A380 which serves some rather high-end alcohol.

Qatar Airways A380 Inflight Bar Image - journestry.blogspot.com

Qatar Airways A380 Inflight Bar Image – journestry.blogspot.com

Now all the ME3 (Middle Eastern 3, Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar) operate their A380 to Sydney. I’d say Qatar felt the pressure operating an old product on a very popular route 😉

Qatar Airways A380 Arriving Into Sydney Image - Bernard Proctor

Qatar Airways A380 Arriving Into Sydney Image – Bernard Proctor

This is also a unique service for Qatar as it’s their first long-haul scheduled flight with their A380. The airline only previously flew the aircraft to London and Bangkok.

Bottom Line

It’s fantastic to see Qatar fly their A380 into Sydney. Hopefully, Melbourne will get an upgrade next as Etihad and Emirates have upgraded that route and competition is fierce in the Middle East. So who knows what’s to come?

I’ll most likely be reviewing Qatar first in a few weeks so stay tuned for that.

Featured image – Bernard Proctor