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Qatar to launch Melbourne service

Qatar Airways will commence service to Melbourne, Australia on 6 December.

The new Qatar-Melbourne service will initially fly three times a week using Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, says Qatar Airways in a statement.

The airline has two 777-200LRs, with the third and fourth to be delivered later this year. The Melbourne service will become daily when the fourth aircraft is delivered.

"I know the travelling public is eager for us to begin serving Australia and I've had many people ask me about our direct routes to Melbourne and Sydney," says Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker at the Paris Air Show. "We're finalising some details with regulatory authorities in Australia, and once we've received the necessary aircraft from Boeing, we will be ready to operate."

Al Baker says he has been waiting patiently for Boeing to deliver aircraft that Qatar Airways has on order to begin operating the first of its "two planned routes" into Australia.

 © Boeing

The 777-200LR aircraft operating on the route will offer a two-class configuration of 259 seats, with 42 Business class seats and 217 economy class seats.

In 2007, Qatar Airways placed orders for 14 Boeing 777-300ERs, six of the 777-200 Long Range variant and seven 777-200 freighters - all for scheduled delivery until mid-2010. There are options for a further five Boeing 777 aircraft. The four 777-200LR aircraft will operate the Melbourne and Sydney routes.

The statement provided no details for the commencement date or frequency of the Sydney route.

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