Greens to axe existing Qatar Brisbane service & thousands of more flights

Qatar BNE landing

In a new threat to the ability of Australians to travel affordably, the Greens have today announced their plans to introduce flights caps and a curfew on Brisbane Airport, scuttling Brisbane’s only Qatar service, plus thousands of other flights each year. 

Greens Aviation spokesperson and Brisbane based MP Elizabeth Watson-Brown today announced the Bill would be introduced in the next sitting of parliament.  

Flight caps would limit the number of arrivals and departures to just 45 per hour, which is less than when Brisbane operated a single runway.   A curfew would eliminate a huge swathe of international services and thousands of seats per week from Brisbane.  

“It beggars' belief, that in the middle of a national debate about Australians accessing affordable air travel, that the Greens would want to slash international services as well as thousands of services to regional Queensland,” according to Stephen Beckett, Head of Public Affairs from Brisbane Airport. 

“International airfares are currently up to 50% more expensive than before Covid. Australians now understand that extra capacity forces prices down. Wiping out services from Qatar Airways, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Singapore, Qantas and Virgin which currently depart after 10pm would hit Queenslanders hard.  

“Caps and a curfew would have a brutal impact on Queensland’s economy, slashing 30,000 jobs across the state by 2032 and wiping $2.8 billion from the economy. 

“It will become more difficult for Queenslanders living in the regions to visit family and friends, travel for holidays, business, or for specialist medical care. Caps and a curfew would mean 3,100 fewer regional flights in Queensland each year which would be a devastating blow to people across the state. 

Impact to Queensland Summary 

  1. International flights impacted by curfew: Qatar (Doha), Singapore Airlines (Singapore), Jetstar (Bali), Emirates (Dubai), Qantas (Auckland), Fiji Airways (Nadi), Virgin (Bali & Fiji), Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong), Eva (Tapei), China Airlines (Tapei), Vietjet (Ho Chi Minh City). 
  2. The impact of flight caps  in regional connectively will be acute with 3,100 reduced flights and 239,000 reduced passenger movements in FY26 rising to 32,500 flights and 2.9 million passengers by FY42. The bush would be cut off from the city. 
  3. Economic growth is harmed as a result of a substantial loss of international, domestic and freight flights that cruel tourism, businesses, jobs, exports and the broader community – particularly in the regions. It would significantly impede Queensland’s significant Tourism Industry and degrade our State’s economic performance.  
  4. The economic loss: $2.82 billion in FY31/32  
  5. Significant job losses will occur, with 30,000 jobs lost in FY31/32 in aviation, freight, logistics, tourism, resources and exporter sector. This is more than the total number of workers currently employed at Brisbane Airport (24,000). 
  6. Increase the cost of tickets for passengers due to the reduction of flights, pushing ticket prices “out of reach financially” for many Queenslanders according to travel experts. 
  7. Loss of overnight freight movements, including critical medical, pharmaceutical and fresh produce to regional areas. Queensland will be the only state where next day delivery of time sensitive items cannot be guaranteed. 
  8. There will be no tourism dividend from 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games with tourism growth reversed by the cut in flight numbers. Brisbane Airport is gateway to 75% of Queensland’s inbound visitors. 
  9. By the end of the decade, BNE will become Australia’s aviation bottleneck, affecting all major domestic routes, with delays impacting all passengers.  
  10. Caps and a curfew will not give communities the relief they are looking for. Instead, improvements in flightpath design and operations can, with community consultation underway on the first round of improvements, with Airservices Australia working on more reform packages to be introduced. Brisbane Airport is currently working with airlines who operate overnight to increase the number of flights taking off over water.  


For interviews contact Brisbane Airport Media 0466 322 485