There’s no brand that’s been tarnished as much in Australia over the past year as Qantas. They don’t have enough seats to meet demand, and their operations have been awful as they’ve returned to international service. Stories are rampant of passengers with cancelled flights, where the airline stranded them abroad telling them they couldn’t return home for weeks.
Yet the Aussie government still protects Qantas from competition, limiting flights and keeping prices high. Citizens there should be outraged at the crazy stunts Qatar Airways has to engage in just to provide more flights in and out of the country.
Would you believe that Qatar Airways has to fly domestic ghost flights inside of Australia?
- For the last month Qatar has been running daily Boeing 777s without passengers between Melbourne and Adelaide
- They’ve started selling tickets for the Melbourne – Adelaide flight, but legally they’re limited to passengers continuing on from Doha or headed there (since they cannot sell Australia domestic service)
This is all because the Australian government limits Qatar’s flights – at the insistence of Qantas – and therefore only serves Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth once a day. Since they aren’t restricted in service to secondary airports they added another Melbourne flight by serving Doha – Melbourne – Adelaide and back.
Qatar also has Doha – Melbourne – Canberra in the schedule starting in March. It was supposed to start in December but reportedly Qatar Airways has had challenges setting up a ground handling agreement there.
The Doha – Melbourne – Adelaide flight though really serves no purpose other than circumventing restrictions on competition. In fact there’s a forced overnight in Melbourne on the way to Adelaide. Next month the Melbourne stop reduces to less than 7 hours, allowing a passenger to sleep perhaps four hours at most at an airport hotel.
The Australian government shows tremendous disregard for the environment in protecting Qantas in this way, and throwing its own passengers under the bus – with fewer options and higher fares – as a result.
(HT: Donald W)