Adelaide has welcomed the first scheduled Airbus A350 passenger flight of Australia. Qatar Airways flight QR914 touched down a few minutes before 1600L on Tuesday.
The inaugural service, operated by A7-ALH, completed the 6,109nm flight between Doha, Qatar, and Adelaide, Australia, in a bit under 13 hours, landing about an hour ahead of schedule.
The aircraft was scheduled to remain on the ground for about 5 hours to host media and special guests, before operating the reciprocal QR915 back to Doha, expected to depart at 2125L.
Qatar is the second airline from the Middle East to serve Adelaide, alongside a daily Emirates 777-300ER service, operated under a codeshare partnership with Qantas.
The aircraft would be handled at Adelaide Airport without any new infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Adelaide Airport it’s continuing its efforts to attract direct services from the US west coast and China, with both China Eastern and China Southern in its sights. However, there is no forecast of the timing of new entrants from either target market.
The South Australian Government offered inducements to Qatar Airways, including a contribution to marketing the new service, but would not disclose any details of the deal.
The addition of a fourth Australian destination to Qatar’s network, after Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, will open up routes to the Middle East, Europe and eastern US for south-Australian air travellers.
The service connects the south Australian capital with 38 countries in Europe, 23 in Africa and 27 destinations in the Middle East.
Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways’ CEO, was due to hold a media conference on Wednesday.