Qatar Airways has confirmed that it will celebrate the arrival of its very first Airbus A380 by using the aircraft on scheduled flights between Doha’s new Hamad International Airport and London Heathrow, from 17 June 2014.
The first of 13 such aircraft on order, Qatar Airways is set to receive three A380 aircraft in quick succession this summer and the new aircraft will commence operations on the QR003 and QR004 London-Heathrow route.
Featuring a tri-class configuration of seating in First, Business and Economy Class, over two decks, the A380 is the largest – and many say most comfortable – passenger jet in the world.
The Qatar Airways First Class A380 seat features a 90-inch seat pitch, transforming into a fully flat bed, together with an expansive choice of entertainment options displayed on individual 26-inch television screens.
Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Airways, Mr. Akbar Al Baker said, “It is a significant moment in our airline’s history to welcome these aircraft into our rapidly expanding fleet. Operating on the Doha to London Heathrow route, these aircraft, with their customised cabins, will set a new level of comfort for our passengers, who will also benefit from a smooth and pleasant passenger experience at the world’s newest airport, Hamad International Airport, the soon to be opened new home of Qatar Airways.”
The arrival this year of the airline´s first A380 marks a significant milestone for the airline, whose future home, Hamad International Airport (HIA), has been specially designed to cater to the aircraft, with six contact gates designed specifically for the superjumbo.
In addition, the maintenance hangar at HIA – which is the largest in the world – is able to accommodate two A380s simultaneously.
Qatar Airways is also celebrating a year of intensive fleet growth and recently becoming a member of the oneworld global alliance network. In addition to the 13 A380 aircraft the airline currently has on order, Qatar Airways is also set this year to welcome the first of 80 A350 aircraft, the world’s newest aircraft, as Airbus’ launch customer.
This forms part of Qatar Airways plans to significantly expand its fleet with 300 additional aircraft on order, worth more than US $50 billion, including the Boeing 787 and 777X.