Adelaide will trump Melbourne, Perth and Sydney to become the first destination in Australia that Qatar Airways operates its Airbus A350 aircraft to. Qatar Airways was the global launch customer for the Airbus A350 and already serves Frankfurt and Singapore from its hub in Doha with this aircraft type.
Qatar Airways say that “flying a long-haul service to Adelaide, which is a key business and leisure destination in southern Australia, will enable Qatar Airways to maximise the A350’s efficiency and performance and allow its Australia-bound passengers their first opportunity to try the world’s newest aircraft”.
Qatar Airways’ A350 aircraft are in a two class configuration. The business class seat is practically the same as that offered on its A380 and Boeing 787 aircraft (both of which we have reviewed).
With 36 seats in business class arranged in a reverse herringbone layout, these will be the best seats Qatar Airways fly to Australia – a step up on the business class product offered on the Boeing 777 aircraft that Qatar Airways fly to other Australian destinations.
The schedule for the new service from 2 May 2016 will be as follows:
Depart Doha QR914 at 20:55, arrive Adelaide at 16:25 (next day)
Depart Adelaide QR915 at 21:30, arrive Doha at 04:50 (next day)
Qatar Airways are a member of oneworld, and while these flights are loaded into airline reservation systems we have not been able to find any award inventory as yet. It will be interesting to see what Qatar Airways do in terms of lounges, as the Qantas Lounge in Adelaide is in the domestic departures area (only Singapore Airlines have an international airside lounge at Adelaide).
The ABC noted that South Australian Tourism Minister Leon Bignell “said the State Government had not directly paid Qatar Airways to bring the flights to Adelaide, but would not discuss details of the deal”.