QATAR Airways revealed its surprise and shock after learning that the Federal government had rejected its bid to operate additional flights into Australia.
Tensions started after the Australian government formally rejected the airline’s request to run an additional 28 weekly services to Australia’s four major airports which include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth.
Amid support from aviation and industry groups for Qatar to operate more flights, Qantas Airways— Australia’s largest airline— has opposed the proposed expansion as it sees the Doha-based airline as a competitor.
Qatar argued the additional flights would add an estimated $3 billion of economic benefits to Australia.
After receiving multiple requests from the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA), the Australian transport department finally agreed to schedule a meeting with Qatari officials.
Earlier this month, Australian Transport Minister Catherine King admitted that the five Australian women who were invasively strip-searched at a Qatari airport in 2020 after a premature baby was found in a terminal bathroom was a factor in her final decision to block the proposal for the airline’s expansion down under.