3-Mar-2016 1:08 PM

Qatar Airways says Sydney service 'long awaited', restricted by slot and curfew limits

Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker, speaking at a press conference for the launch of Doha-Sydney service, said (03-Mar-2016) the carrier's plans to expand to Sydney were restricted for a long time due to slot and curfew limits at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, which did not coordinate with the carrier's two bank system at Doha. Mr Al Baker said the airline could not afford to leave aircraft on the ground in Sydney during the curfew and an earlier departure time would result in longer transfers at Doha. As the carrier has moved to a third bank at Amman, the timing now works for a Sydney service. The airline may seek additional Sydney slots in future. Mr Al Baker also said Sydney Airport CEO Kerrie Mather took a "leading role" in helping obtain the rights for the service, adding that Sydney is the "most important" destination in the Australia network for the carrier.

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