Qatar Airways executives spoke before an Australian Senate enquiry into the airline industry after the government denied the company’s request for extra flights to the country.
Qatar Airways’ plan to add 21 additional weekly flights from Doha to Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane was rejected by the Australian government in July 2023. This would be in addition to the present 28 weekly flights.
In response to the enquiry, Qatar Airways senior vice president of global sales Matt Raos said the airline needs to understand why the federal government rejected its application for additional flights, primarily since no rationale was provided.
Raos stated that the airline and the State of Qatar have been a “friend and ally” of Australia for 40 years and that the carrier generates AU$3 Billion in economic benefits with its current routes and would generate an additional AU$3 Billion more if the application for additional flights is approved.
Speaking on behalf of other Qatar Airways executives, the senior vice president stated that the airline was “disappointed” since it assisted in times of need, such as sending stranded Australians home during the pandemic.
“When other airlines turned their backs on Australia during COVID, Australians turned to us.” The Australian government requested that we assist Australians in returning home. In fact, certain members of parliament from all political parties have urged us to assist their people in returning home,” Raos stated in his opening remarks.
When questioned about the intrusive search procedure that Australian ladies underwent at Doha Airport in October 2020, Raos stated it was a “one-off” and that he couldn’t comment further since the matter is still under Federal Court investigation.