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Adelaide welcomes first Qatar Airways flight from Doha.

Akbar al-Baker VIP Hieu Van Le Leon Bignell Mark Young, to the flight deck of Australia's first A350 aircraft.

The Australian city of Adelaide yesterday welcomed the first Qatar Airways flight to arrive at its international airport from Doha.

The inaugural flight was greeted by a delegation of VIPs, including South Australia's Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell, Adelaide Airport managing director Mark Young, Governor of South Australia Hieu Van Le and CEO of South Australian Tourism Commission Rodney Harrex.

Adelaide is the fourth city in Australia to be served by Qatar Airways, which has been flying to Melbourne since 2009, Perth since 2012 and Sydney since March this year. The new route is expected to generate an estimated 228 jobs across the state and contribute more than AU$41mn to the local visitor economy, according to a statement.

The airline is the first to fly the new-generation Airbus A350 to Australia, connecting Australian passengers to more than 150 destinations on its route map, the statement adds.

Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar al-Baker, who was on board the inaugural flight, said: "Adelaide is an important addition to our route map and we are pleased to offer the people of South Australia the most modern aircraft in the industry to connect them with 38 countries in Europe, 21 destinations in Africa and 27 destinations in the Middle East."

Bignell said international visitors were critical to South Australia's economic growth and the addition of direct daily flights from Doha to Adelaide was another global vote of confidence in the state. "These direct daily flights will bring in more than AU$41mn into our visitor economy and create 228 jobs across the state," he added.

Young said the inaugural arrival was excellent news for both the local tourism industry and South Australians travelling abroad. "The Qatar Airways Doha-Adelaide service opens up a brand new link with the Middle East, and provides excellent connections further afield such as with Europe and the UK."

The new service to Adelaide will also provide 80 tonnes of cargo capacity per week in and out of the South Australia hub in the belly hold of the A350, connecting Australia's leading exporters to Qatar Airways Cargo's global network of more than 150 stations around the world, the statement notes.

With an average connection time of 90 minutes via the airline's hub at Hamad International Airport, passengers travelling from Adelaide can expect a "smooth and seamless journey" to their final destination via Doha, the statement notes.

The daily flight schedule is as follows: QR914 departing Doha at 9.30pm and arriving in Adelaide at 5pm (next day), and QR915 departing Adelaide at 9.25pm and arriving in Doha at 4.50am (next day).

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Publication:Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:May 3, 2016
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