The world’s biggest passenger aircraft is set to arrive in Doha in just over a month, Qatar Airways has announced.
The carrier’s first double-decker Airbus A380 will make its debut on the popular London Heathrow route on June 17. The aircraft will have 517 seats in all – 457 in Economy, 52 in Business and eight in First Class.
The A380’s First and Business Class cabins – and a special lounge area for premium passengers – will both be located on the aircraft’s upper deck.
Economy seating will be split between both floors of the aircraft.
The opening of Doha’s long-awaited Hamad International Airport to all airlines, including Qatar Airways, is expected to help facilitate the aircraft’s passage.
HIA has six specially designed, double-decker gates for the super jumbo, as well as an aircraft maintenance hangar that can hold two of the huge aircraft at once.
The A380 will take over flight numbers QR003 and QR004, which leave Doha at 07:55am, and return from London at 3:05pm, respectively.
This means that the aircraft will be replacing the Boeing 777, which usually fills this slot – a marked change from comments made by Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker to Bloomberg in March, in which he stated that the A380 would replace the A340 on the route instead.
The airline has not revealed any other future A380 routes, although it’s widely expected that the aircraft will also fly to Paris.
Qatar’s national carrier will not be the first regional airline to fly A380s. Dubai-based Emirates Airline has 47 of these aircraft, and Etihad is also expected to receive its first A380s this year.
In total, Qatar Airways has 13 A380s on order from Airbus. Three of these are due for delivery in June, more than six months late. The average list price for one A380 is $414 million.
Meanwhile, Qatar’s national carrier is also expecting to receive its first A350 later this year. The airline will be the first in the world to fly Airbus’ newest aircraft, which will have up to 350 seats.
After this first delivery, the airline is expected to receive nine A350s next year, followed by one new aircraft a month in 2016, and two aircraft a month in 2017.
The wording was a little strange ‘Qatar’s national carrier will not be the first regional airline to fly A380s. Dubai-based Emirates Airline has 47 of these aircraft.’ In fact, a quick check would have found that Emirates launched the A380 in October, 2008, almost eight years ahead of Qatar Airways.
Or six years ahead if you use modern mathematics.
Yikes! Well spotted. Evidently, I have still not mastered
counting on both hands as of yet :-p
Not quite accurate. Emirates first A380 flight was started Feb this year.
Launching the service in 2008 is merely telling the world that Emirates has confirmed the purchase of the planes. So Qatar Airways is not really that behind compared to other airlines in this sense.
The first ever A380 flight was Singapore Airlines in October 2007.
The first ever GCC A380 flight was Emirates Airlines between Dubai and New York in August 2008. That’s over 5 years ago.
How do you figure that their first A380 flight was in February 2014?
Wow.. ok you win on this one. Maybe I read my link wrongly
That link is just announcing the beginning of their A380 service to Spain. Emirates started flying the A380 in August of 2008 on their Dubai-New York route.
Emirates operates almost 1/3 of all A380s in service right now to over 20 different destinations.
No wonder the sudden announcement of full HIA operation by late May. Otherwise, 1st and business class passengers will end up climbing several more steps to get up the upper deck after climbing the mobile stairs…. Phewww
Maybe they could have borrowed some of Mowsalat’s double deck buses to transfer them.
Possibly the yellow Doha sightseeing buses as they are always driving around empty. I don’t think the business and 1st class passengers would appreciate an open air bus out to their plane though.
Are Qatar Airways sending all their aircraft to London? They will have the A319, A330-200, A330-300, A340-600, A380 as well as the Boeing 787. I’m sure they’ll also send the 777-300ER and 777-200LR from time to time.
Separate floor between economy and business/first class? Wow that’s a new level of modern day discrimination. Airline industry sure is heading to the right way.
I’ll assume you’re just trolling at this point, but if you read the article there will be economy seating on both the upper and the lower levels.