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Qatar Airways Launches First A350 Flight

Qatar Airways Launches First A350 Flight

The first of the Doha carrier’s 80 A350s has entered service to Frankfurt

Qatar Airways’ first A350-900XWB commercial flight took off from Doha to Frankfurt this morning.

QR067 departed 0749 and is due to arrive 1220 local time and QR68 will depart Frankfurt 1525 and arrive in Doha 2325.

Qatar Airways plans to operate double-daily A350 flights to Frankfurt in March, according to industry website airlineroute.net. The Doha carrier has 80 A350s on order – the most of any carrier, comprising 42 A350-900s and 37 A350-1000s.

The 283-seat aircraft contains 36 business and 247 economy seats. Speaking at the A350’s offiicial unveiling at Doha last week, Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said it was “the design of a decade”. “It’s definitely more mature than the B787 Dreamliner was at its introduction,” he said, which may explain its confidence in ramping up operations.

Powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, the aircraft, predominantly made from carbon fibre (53 per cent) and titanium (14 per cent), offers 25 per cent lower seat-mile costs compared with current aluminium long-range aircraft.

Alongside Frankfurt, Qatar plans to fly to plane to New York and secondary cities in Europe, as well as on routes to Asia and the Subcontinent. The A350 will eventually replace all the airline’s A330s.

On Wednesday, the Doha carrier announced it will fly direct between Doha and Sofia from March, a destination currently served via Bucharest.

Frequencies are also increasing from Doha to Ankara, which will be served by a six-weekly flight connection instead of five from March 1, while capacity will increase to Zagreb with an additional direct flight per week, increasing the frequency from four to five direct flights weekly.

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