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Toulouse, FRANCE – Qatar Airways’ highly anticipated arrival of its first A350 later this year was one step closer this week, as Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker visited the home of Airbus in Toulouse, France.
Qatar Airways continues to be a highly valued customer and partner with Airbus – especially as the prestigious launch customer for the new A350 – a relationship which has flourished since the airline received its first Airbus aircraft in 1997. Today Airbus aircraft form an ever more essential cornerstone of Qatar Airways’ global operations with more than 200 aircraft directly ordered across all modern Airbus product families, from the single-aisle A320 all the way up to the flagship A380.
Mr. Al Baker took the opportunity during his visit to Toulouse to thank the Airbus staff, on behalf of everyone at Qatar Airways, for their efforts in working to fulfil the airline’s ambitious order for 80 of the world’s newest aircraft, in line with its aggressive expansion plans.
The Airbus A350 will be one of the world’s most fuel efficient airliners, offering state of the art design and comfort to all that will travel on forthcoming flights on Qatar Airways, consistent with the airline’s five-star service values. Combined with the latest materials and construction techniques, Airbus’s latest addition is set to revolutionise air travel.
Senior management from Airbus and Qatar Airways, as the first Qatar Airways A350 graces the background.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, Akbar Al Baker (far right), is greeted by Airbus employees as he enters the A350 hangar in Toulouse, France, with Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Fabrice Bregier.
Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “It is a historic moment to see this fantastic aeroplane here in Toulouse and to witness all of the hard work that the team at Airbus has contributed into making this one of the finest aircraft in the world. Qatar Airways is proud to be the launch customer for this new aircraft, and we look forward to soon taking delivery of the first of 80 A350s.
“We remain committed to offering our customers the best possible experience when it comes to travelling with Qatar Airways, not only in terms of custom-built comfort features across all of our cabins, but with the continued expansion of our young and modern fleet.”
The visit precedes the first flight of an A350 to Qatar tomorrow, where it will be officially welcomed at the world’s newest global gateway, Hamad International Airport (HIA), by a select crowd of Qatar Airways staff and VIPs, before it takes to the skies for an aerial display.
Qatar Airways has a robust range of Airbus aircraft in its fleet. In addition to the 80 A350 it has on order, the airline has a current Airbus fleet comprising the A320, A330 Freighter, A319LR, A321, A330 and A340 families. Qatar Airways is also a customer of the A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft, and expects to take delivery of its first A380 this spring.
Launch customer Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, Akbar Al Baker (far left), is welcomed by Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Fabrice Bregier (centre), and staff at the A350 hangar in Toulouse, France.
The Qatar Airways livery adornes the side of the airline’s first A350, which will join its fleet later this year.
Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 17 years of operation and currently has orders worth over US $50 billion for more than 280 aircraft. The airline flies a modern fleet of 129 aircraft to 134 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.
As part of its aggressive expansion programme, Qatar Airways will launch routes to eight new destinations during 2014. Sharjah (UAE) from March 1; Dubai World Central (UAE) from March 1; Philadelphia (USA) from April 2; Larnaca (Cyprus) from April 29; Sabiha Gokcen Airport (Turkey) from May 22; Edinburgh (Scotland) from May 28; Miami (USA) from June 10 and Dallas/Fort Worth (USA) from July 1.
Notes to Editors:
Qatar Airways is the national carrier of the State of Qatar. Currently undergoing rapid expansion, Qatar Airways is one of the fastest growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world. Now in its 17th year of operations, Qatar Airways has a modern fleet of 129 aircraft flying to 134 key business and leisure destinations across six continents.
On October 30, 2013, Qatar Airways joined the oneworld Alliance, becoming the only Gulf carrier to join a global airline alliance, enabling its customers to benefit from almost a thousand airports in more than 150 countries, with 14,000 daily departures.
Award-winning carrier Qatar Airways was presented with three honours at the annual Skytrax 2013 World Airline Awards held during the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, France last June. The airline was awarded World’s Best Business Class, World’s Best Business Class Lounge and, for the second consecutive year, Best Airline Staff Service in the Middle East.
During the 2013 Dubai Air Show the airline placed orders for more than 60 new aircraft – a mixture of Boeing 777X and Airbus A330 Freighters. In total the airline has more than 280 aircraft on order worth more than US $50 billion. The airline will move into its new hub and home, Hamad International Airport from early 2014. For more information, visit www.qatarairways.com.
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