The Big Gulf Carriers Boost Their Australian Flights

It’s not quite a full circle, but the big Gulf carriers are significantly boosting their Australian flights as the country prepares to open its borders to all fully vaccinated travelers. In recent days, Etihad Airways has confirmed the resumption of daily flights into Sydney and Melbourne, and Emirates is ramping up its A380 flights. Meanwhile, Qatar Airways is going daily into Brisbane, has resumed its flights to Adelaide, and eyeing Perth flights.

Etihad Airways is going daily into Sydney & Melbourne

Most recently, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has confirmed it is increasing flights to Sydney and Melbourne from five days per week to daily from March 27, 2022. While frequencies are increasing, Sydney and Melbourne-bound passengers will have to make do with Boeing 787 Dreamliner services rather than the pre-travel-downturn A380 flights.

“Etihad is excited to ramp up services to Melbourne and Sydney at the end of March, and it’s the perfect timing given the reopening of Australia’s borders and Etihad celebrating 15 years of operations to Australiasaid Etihad’s Australasian Vice President of Sales, Sarah Built.

“Close to 900,000 travelers flew with Etihad to and from Australia in 2019, with Melbourne and Sydney both being some of the best-performing routes in Etihad’s global network, and Etihad is confident that the market will continue to recover as COVID-19 recedes. “


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Etihad Airways is going daily with its Sydney and Melbourne flights. Photo: Etihad Airways

Emirates boosts A380 flights to Australia

While Etihad’s A380s are fading into memory, A380 powerhouse airline Emirates is increasing its A380 flights to and from Australia.

Daily Emirates A380 flights between Dubai and Melbourne have just resumed. Further north, in Sydney, the existing daily Dubai – Sydney Emirates A380 flight will be complemented by a second daily A380 service from March 2.

A little further out time-wise, Emirates has slated their A380s to resume daily Dubai – Perth flights from June 17 and daily Dubai – Brisbane flights from July 1.

Qatar Airways bets big on Brisbane

Both Emirates and Qatar Airways have proved stalwarts over the past two years, maintaining flights to and from Australia while many others suspended services entirely. It looks like Qatar Airways may reap the rewards of that loyalty. They are going into Brisbane daily from March 1.

The airline had been flying to Brisbane temporarily throughout the travel downturn. However, a bilateral air services agreement cap on flight numbers to Australia’s biggest airports had previously kept the airline out of Brisbane. Qatar Airways has applied for a change to that agreement to let the airline retain its Brisbane flights in the future. While there’s no formal announcement yet, Qatar’s confirmation it will go daily into Brisbane is indicative of success.


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Qatar is going daily in Brisbane and has resumed flights to Adelaide. Photo: Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways already flies into Sydney and Melbourne, although there is no word on the airline resuming its second daily service to Sydney with its Canberra tag flight. The Doha-based airline is also back in Adelaide and offering around three Doha – Adelaide services a week. Qatar Airways has timetable flights to Perth to resume from March 27. However, the start of the Perth flights will likely depend on Western Australia dropping its quarantine regime before then.


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