Qatar Airways’ first Boeing 787 Dreamliner recently landed on home turf in Doha. Qatar Airways is the region’s 787 launch customer with 60 aircraft on order for delivery in phases over the next few years. Akbar Al Baker, CEO, Qatar Airways, was joined by almost 100 passengers privileged to be on the maiden 13-hour direct flight from Seattle, the US west coast home of American aircraft manufacturer Boeing. Those onboard included international media, senior management from Qatar Airways and Boeing, as well as third-party suppliers from companies involved in the 787 project.
The 787 will be stationed for a few days at Doha International Airport, giving staff an opportunity to tour the aircraft before it enters commercial service for a few weeks on select Doha–Dubai flights from November 20, 2012, and will then be deployed on one of the five daily London Heathrow services. As more 787s join the fleet over the next few weeks, the aircraft will be inducted on other long-haul destinations, including Zurich, Frankfurt and Delhi.
“The 787s are next generation aircraft that allow us to maximise long-haul route opportunities with greater fuel and cost efficiency and, importantly, offer our passengers a different travel experience with new levels of space and comfort,” said Al Baker. “I am delighted that tickets on our 787 flights are now bookable on select commercial services between Doha and Dubai, as it flies short sectors to familiarise our crew with the aircraft.”
Martin Bentrott, Commercial Vice President - International Sales Middle East, Boeing, said, “Boeing and Qatar Airways once again demonstrate a close working partnership between the two companies that is clearly reflected in the 787 programme.” The new aircraft has 254 seats in a two-class layout of 22 seats in Business Class in a 1–2–1 configuration. In Economy Class, there are 232 seats in a 3–3–3 spacious layout.