On a recent Virgin Blue flight I was flipping through its in-flight magazine Voyeur. On page 124 listing codeshares and interline agreements, I read this curious statement under Qatar Airways:
Direct flights between Melbourne and Doha commence December 2009, and between Sydney and Doha commence April 2010.
Yes, Qatar started services to Melbourne earlier this month. But Qatar hasn't announced that Sydney will be its second Australian destination, let alone that it will start flights in April. Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker is even floating the idea the flag carrier will fly to Perth before Sydney.
A call to Qatar's Australian office received the reply the carrier hasn't yet publicly announced the start of Sydney services and couldn't comment further. A spokeswoman for Virgin Blue says she believes the listing was a mistake. She adds it has been removed from next month's Voyeur.
Did Qatar's Sydney launch get blown? Or did someone at Virgin get keyboard-trigger-happy?