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Qatar Airways increases flights to Australia despite shutdown

Qatar Airways is bucking the global air travel shutdown by increasing flights to Australia despite the coronavirus showing no sign of ending.

The Middle Eastern airline announced it has added 28 additional flights to Australia, equivalent to 48,000 additional seats, and launched its first route between Doha and Brisbane.

The carrier is now operating three flights a day from Doha to Sydney, two into Melbourne, two into Perth and one daily flight into Brisbane. Its Adelaide and Canberra routes remain suspended.

Qatar Airways is boosting its Australian services.
Qatar Airways is boosting its Australian services. (Getty)

Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker said the airline was continuing to serve Australians aiming to return home from overseas.

“We know there are many people who want to be with their families and loved ones during this difficult time,” he said.

“We are thankful to the Australian Government, airports and staff for their support in helping us to add additional flights to get people home, and in particular, to bring flights to Brisbane.

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“The airline is continuing to operate about 150 daily flights to 70 cities around the world.”

Qatar said from March 1 to March 22, it flew 13,458 Australians home.

Last week, the airline said it had flown more than 100,000 passengers, with 72 per cent of those flying on March 24 returning to their country of origin.

The Federal Government banned all international visitors from entering the country and all Australian citizens arriving must go into quarantine.

Qantas and Virgin Australia have suspended all international flights and slashed domestic capacity amid the pandemic.

Source: 9News

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