By Renee Bogatko, Image Credit - supplied
A new five-star hotel and the possibility of a direct flight from Doha to Canberra have been floated at today’s official launch of Qatar Airways’ new flight path from Canberra to Doha, via Sydney.
It’s after the first flight was welcomed to Canberra Airport with a water cannon salute yesterday.
Canberra Airport Managing Director Stephen Byron rejected concerns around the Sydney link being a possible deterrent for travellers.
He said the changeover will be efficient and hassle-free.
“Any of us that’ve ever travelled to Sydney on a domestic flight and had to transfer, being delayed at transfer terminals and had significantly long changeover times, would recognise the opportunity to avoid all of that hassle in Sydney, to be guaranteed to be on the same aircraft in the same seat, to have your bags already on the plane, is a substantial advantage.”
Qatar Airways CEO, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker echoed Mr Byron’s comments and spoke of the easy transfer process, once in Doha.
“Once you land at Hamad International, you’ll be able to connect to many destinations across Europe within maximum of an hour and a half,” he said.
“And you’ll be able to connect with as little as only 30 minutes transit time in Doha, again to many destinations in Africa and Eastern Europe."
While the distinguished guests played down the potential inconvenience of having to travel via Sydney, they did discuss the possibility of a direct link to Canberra, should our infrastructure allow it.
“We will look at every opportunity we have to fly direct because Qatar Airways’ strategy is always to fly point to point directly without going through busy or congested hubs,” Mr Al Baker said.
Mr Byron said it’s something they can address in their master planning over time.
Meanwhile, a new five-star hotel for Canberra was also floated at today’s launch..
“I think that Canberra has a lot of potential and if the state authorities give us recommendations, we can positively look at it because I think the capital city of this great nation deserves more options for people,” Mr Al Baker said.
“Qatar Airways would like to bring one of the top brands of hotels to Canberra if given appropriate real estate.”
In other good news for locals travelling on Qatar Airways, their fancy new Q-suites will be available from June and their planes also have the highest internet speeds than any other airlines in the world!