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Australia and Qatar agree to boost flight capacity

[SYDNEY] The Australian government said on Thursday it had agreed with Qatar to increase flight capacity between the two countries by 50 per cent, a significant boon for both tourism and agricultural exports.

The changes, effective immediately, allow for up to 21 flights per week, each way, for airlines of both countries to the major gateways of Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Airlines can also operate unlimited services between Qatar and regional locations.

Qatar Airways currently operates a daily service between Doha and both Melbourne and Perth.

Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb said he expected Qatar Airways to commence a daily service between Sydney and Doha. The airline could not immediately be reached for comment.

Mr Robb said extra flights would allow Australian businesses to quickly and efficiently move produce to global markets.

"Airline connectivity plays a vital role in growing Australia's premium agricultural trade of fresh products like dairy, horticulture and meats," Mr Robb said.