The Evolution of Qatar Airways in Australia’s International Air Travel Market
Keywords:Airline, Airline passenger market share, Aviation market, Case study, Qatar Airways
The objective of this study was to examine the evolution of Qatar Airways in Australia’s international air travel market. The study covers the period 2009 to 2021. Qatar Airway’s Australian route network has evolved since the airline first commenced services to Melbourne in 2009. The airline expanded its Australian route network in 2012, when it introduced services to Perth, Western Australia. Adelaide and Sydney were added to the airline’s Australian route network in 2016. In 2018, Canberra joined the airline’s Australian route network. The airline introduced services to Brisbane in 2020, thus giving it five Australian gateway airports. In May 2022, Qatar Airways and Virgin Australia signed a partnership agreement which includes a codeshare agreement and loyalty partnership benefits. The new codeshare agreement will enable Qatar Airways’ passengers to travel to 35 destinations throughout Virgin Australia’s domestic network. In addition, Qatar Airways passengers will also have access to Virgin Australia’s recently relaunched short-haul international markets including Fiji and Queenstown, New Zealand. Qatar Airways inbound and outbound passenger traffic exhibited an upward growth trend from 2009 to 2019. Qatar Airways annual enplaned inbound passengers increased from a low of 2,468 passengers in 2009 to a high of 611,716 passengers in 2019. The airline’s enplaned outbound passengers increased from a low of 2,407 passengers in 2009 to a high of 663,444 passengers in 2019. Importantly, Qatar Airways continued to serve Australia’s international air travel market in both 2020 and 2021. However, the COVID 19 pandemic and the related government response measures had an impact on the airline’s passenger traffic in both 2020 and 2021. The case study also revealed that throughout the study period Qatar Airways deployed larger aircraft types, for example, the Airbus A350-1000 and the Airbus A380, to accommodate the higher levels of passenger demand in the Australian markets that it served.
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