Last night, Qatar Airways welcomed the airline’s first A350 XWB aircraft (as global launch customer) at a ceremony in Doha.
The event was inaugurated in the presence of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, Ahmad bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud. Also in attendance were the Minister of Finance Ali Shareef Al Emadi; the Minister of Transport Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti; the Minister of Energy and Industry Dr. Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Sada and the Chairman of Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority Abdul Aziz Mohammad Al-Noaimi.
“The delivery of this new aircraft category into the Qatar Airways’ fleet, as global launch customer, is a moment of absolute national pride for Qatar Airways and the State of Qatar," said Akbar Al Baker chief executive Qatar Airways Group.
The ceremony, which included music from Portuguese singer Suzy Guerra, commenced with a dinner followed by a laser light show highlighting the journey of the A350 XWB, from inception through to production.
The unique laser-light display was digitally mapped onto the newly revealed aircraft, and guests were then given the opportunity to tour the new plane.
The Exclusive A350
As global launch customer for the A350 XWB, Qatar Airways will be the only airline to fly this aircraft type for the foreseeable future, and was a contributor to its design in partnership with aircraft manufacturer, Airbus. Qatar Airways has ordered 80 of these planes to be delivered over the next decade.
The first commercial service will be deployed on the Frankfurt route on January 15.
The A350 XWB will use a two class configuration with 36 Business Class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, including an 80” fully flat bed and 17” HD in-flight entertainment screen. Economy Class will have 247 seats. Each will be 18 inches wide in a 3-3-3 configuration, with up to a 32-inch pitch. Each individual seat will have a 10.6” in-flight entertainment screen, and more space at shoulder level for passengers in window seats, thanks to a vertical side wall panel design.
More than 70 percent of the A350 XWB’s weight-efficient airframe is made from advanced materials combining composites (53 percent), titanium and advanced aluminium alloys. The aircraft’s all-new Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) fuselage results in lower fuel burn as well as easier maintenance.
Qatar Airways is the only airline in the world to operate every family of Airbus’ modern airline portfolio. In addition to the 80 A350s it has on order, the airline has a A320, A330 Freighter, A319LR, A321, A330, A340 and A380.
Qatar Airways' fleet has 146 aircraft flying to 146 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.