Qatar Airways set to receive new A350 aircraft by year-end
The news comes after the airline abruptly canceled an order for four smaller A350-900s last month, apparently due to production delays.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said this week that the first of 37 A350-1000s that the airline has ordered will arrive in Qatar before the end of December.
“Airbus has assured us we would receive our airplanes, though late, but we will receive it before the end of the year,” he told reporters in Doha on Wednesday.
The airline will be the launch customer for the brand new A350-1000, just as it was the launch customer for the slightly smaller A350-900.
Qatar Airways currently has a fleet of 19 A350-900s.
Larger seating capacity
Likely to fly to routes in Europe, the US and Asia, the Airbus A350-1000 will have a larger capacity than its A350-900 sister aircraft.
The Qatar Airways A350-900 has 36 business class seats and 247 in economy.
Meanwhile, the airline’s new A350-1000 will include 46 business class and 281 economy seats.
Premium passengers will be pleased to learn that the new A350-1000s will come fitted with the airline’s new “QSuites”.
These offer greater privacy and the possibility to create a double bed for passengers seated next to each other in the middle row.
Additionally, the middle seats have a screen that can open up to allow four passengers to eat together or chat.
Also this week, Al Baker fielded questions about the partial reopening of UAE and Bahraini airspace to Qatar Airways.
The two countries announced the move earlier this week following intervention from ICAO, which had called on them to honor international aviation rules.
Responding to this, Al Baker said that the new airway was “very short” and that the airline was still studying the “benefits” of using it.
“We are evaluating and studying it – it’s only been two days,” he said.
According to the Gulf Times, the official also urged the ICAO to push harder for the complete reopening of airspace in the region.
“It is the job of ICAO to demand from these countries the unconditional opening of the airspace – not restricting only on high seas, but unconditional opening of the airspace into their flight information region (FIR) minus their territorial airspace,” he said.
Data from flight monitoring website FlightRadar24 suggests that Qatar Airways has not begun using the new route.