Qatar eyes Australian cargo growth
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker recently met with top Western Australian officials to discuss opportunities for business growth, particularly cargo. This meeting comes on the heels of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia’s conclusion that Perth “desperately needs” more freighter capacity to meet high cargo demand.
The region’s booming mining sector is propelling demand, according to a press release. It’s a situation reminiscent of the oil and gas boom seen in Qatar Airways’ domestic market, Australian authorities asserted during their meeting with Al Baker.
Although Qatar recently invested in Western Australia — launching non-stop passenger flights between its Doha hub and Perth on July 3 — a dedicated freight route could be a game-changer for the carrier, Qatar explained in the press release. Al Baker said he would consider such a venture, a route that would likely also be inundated with agricultural and pharmaceutical goods.
Whether Qatar launches an all-cargo route to Western Australia or not, the carrier is looking to expand. Since the beginning of 2012, Qatar has commenced services to Baku, Azerbaijan; Tbilisi, Georgia; Zagreb, Croatia; Kigali, Rwanda; Erbil and Baghdad, Iraq; as well as Perth. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania; Mombasa, Kenya; Yangon, Myanmar; and Maputo, Mozambique will join this roster in the next few months, according to the press release.