Qatar: Australian Government Rejects Expansion

A Qatar Airways Airbus A350 parked on the tarmac.
Photo Credit: Qatar Airways
Jamie Clarke 2 Min Read
2 Min Read

Last week it has been revealed that the Australian Government has rejected a request from Qatar Airways on the expansion of its network.

This article will cover the details surrounding the recent rejection of Qatar Airways’ expansion in Australia by the Australian Government.

Qatar Airways – Australia Rejection

A Qatar Airways flight touches down in Toulouse, France.
Photo Credit: Qatar Airways

In recent weeks the Australian Government, specifically the Albanese side has defended its position in rejecting Qatar Airways’ latest expansion request.

The Government has decided that the latest request from the Qatari flag carrier goes against Australia’s “national interest”, as seats on international flights remain scarce and expensive for travellers.

The Qatari flag carrier has been pushing to increase its Australian network by adding an extra 21 weekly services, on top of the 28 weekly services they already operate in Australia as part of their existing bilateral rights, bringing a total weekly service count to 49.

Leader Comments

The Australian Transport Minister, Catherine King, has denied the suggestions that the reason for the rejection is due to ongoing legal action that is being taken against the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) and Qatar Airways from Australian women that have been subject to “forced examinations” at Doha airport.

Back in June, these women wrote a letter to Catherine King expressing their concerns at Qatar Airways being granted these additional weekly service additions, to which in early July, King responded by saying, “As most Australians were, I was shocked by what happened to you. Your experience remains in my thoughts, as well as those of my colleagues.”

King also mentioned in this letter that Australia was not looking to consider additional bilateral rights with Qatar.

A spokesperson for Catherina King, said to the Guardian Australia, “The government at this time has decided not to approve the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority request for additional services, taking into account all national interest considerations.”

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