Toulouse - The Gulf carrier, who just received its first copy, became the first airline to operate the largest version of the Airbus, widebody family.
Akbar Al Baker has a lot to do these days. After presenting the new group airline Air Italy (formerly Meridiana), he flew to Toulouse with his private jet to attend the delivery ceremony of the company's first A350-1000.
There he officially accepted the first Airbus A350-1000 of Qatar Airways. The Gulf airline is the first operator of the largest variant of the new Airbus long-haul aircraft. The first destination of the new widebody will be London Heathrow from this Saturday (February 24).
Actually, the A350-1000 should have joined the Qatar Airways' fleet last year. However, the problems with the installation of the new Business Class Q Suite delayed the delivery until now.
As of the end of January, the airline has received 21 of the 39 Airbus A350-900 ordered. Including the newly delivered A350-1000, 16 jets are equipped so far with the company's new Business Class concept "Q Suite."
In total, Qatar Airways ordered 37 A350-1000. Al Baker praised the aircraft for its efficiency. It can accommodate 44 passengers more.
It fits perfectly in our fleet,said the Qatar Airways' boss.
Al Baker also said that the Qatari operator also considers converting some orders for A350-900 into A350-1000.
The manager is less enthusiastic about the Airbus' superjumbo. He has no plans to redeem the three options for the Airbus A380. He first wants to see how the A380 program goes and the market reacts.
Let's see if something changes,he said.
Thanks to the bulk order from Emirates, the A380 program is currently secured for a while. But there has not been any order since then.