The blockade against Qatar is doing little to slow down the country’s national airline, which today confirmed that it will go ahead with plans to expand its Australian network within the next year.

Qatar Airways said it will launch a new Canberra service from 12 February 2018, making it the airline’s fifth Australian city after Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide.

The announcement comes despite a sea, air and ground sanction raised by the country’s Middle Eastern neighbours earlier this year.

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According to Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Canberra is an “important addition” to the airline’s global network as well as its relationship with Australia.

“We are confident our highly-acclaimed product will appeal greatly to government, business and leisure travellers alike and we look forward to welcoming our passengers on board very soon.”

Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive

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The Canberra service will operate daily via Sydney on the airline’s 358-seater Boeing 777-300.

Canberra Airport Managing Director Stephen Byron welcomed the announcement, saying it would connect Australia’s Capital City to the world along with Singapore Airlines’ Capital Express.

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“The beginning of the Qatar Airways service in February provides seamless access to the major international hub of Doha, and a stepping off point for the Middle East, Europe and points beyond.”

Stephen Byron, Canberra Airport Managing Director

“We welcome Qatar Airways’ strong support for Canberra, and the people living in our wider region of around 1 million people.”

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