DOHA: March 01, 2016. Qatar Airways (QR) has begun a daily B777-300 flight to Sydney – adding to its Melbourne and Perth services. The new operation will also provide 84 tonnes of cargo capacity on the route in addition to over 300 tonnes it reports carrying on Perth and Melbourne services per week.
Later this month, the airline's cargo division will launch three new freighter services to Budapest, Prague and Ho Chi Minh. This will increase QR's freighter destinations in Europe to 14 and in Asia-Pacific to six.
QR said it carried 1,520,000 tonnes in 2015 – an increase of 37.5 percent over the previous year, with Doha import cargo gaining 29 percent, exports rising 10 percent, and transit cargo increasing 39 percent year-on-year.
Ulrich Ogiermann, Qatar Airways Chief Officer Cargo commented “At a time when international air cargo traffic grew only 2.5 per cent in 2015…we have achieved this phenomenal growth through a combination of fleet and network expansion, creative interline agreements and by deploying capacity on expanding or untapped markets.”
The airline said is expects further tonnage growth in 2016 following the launch of a new freighter destination to Dallas/Fort Worth in January that takes QR’s freighter-only destinations in the U.S. to 13. In addition, a fourth-weekly freighter began serving Los Angeles on January 19.
With three more B777 freighters joining the fleet by the end of the year, QR said 51 percent of shipments carried in 2015 flew on freighters and 49 percent in the holds of passenger aircraft.
In a related move, the airline provided three charter B777 flights at the beginning of March to fly 118 show jumping and dressage horses from Liege, Belgium to Doha for the CHI Al Shaqab international horse show. The flights also included nearly 90 vets and grooms plus over 30,000kgs of equine equipment.