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Toulouse, FRANCE – Qatar Airways’ eagerly awaited arrival of its first A350 later this year was one step closer this week, as the first A350 aircraft bearing Qatar Airways livery took to the skies above the home of Airbus in Toulouse, while embarking upon a test flight.

The latest test flights of the new A350 aircraft come after Qatar Airways CEO, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, visited the home of Airbus in Toulouse last month to thank Airbus, on behalf of everyone at Qatar Airways, for their efforts in working to fulfil the airline’s ambitious A350 order, in line with its aggressive expansion plans.

Qatar Airways, a highly valued customer and partner with Airbus since the airline received its first Airbus aircraft in 1997, will see its fleet of young and modern aircraft strengthened significantly over the coming year with more than 200 aircraft currently on order across all modern Airbus product families, from the A320 through to the flagship A380-800, the world’s largest passenger aircraft.  

Mr. Al Baker said: “We are 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.

“Qatar Airways is proud to be the launch customer for this new aircraft, which will offer a unique travel experience for all of our customers as we add to our rapidly expanding fleet, and we look forward to soon taking delivery of the first of our 80 A350s.”

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.

Qatar Airways already 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, A300Freighter, 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 later this year.

Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 17 years of operation and currently has orders worth more than US $50 billion for more than 280 aircraft. The airline flies a modern fleet of 129 aircraft to 136 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: 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.

For Images: http://www.flickr.com/photos/qatarairways/sets/72157641739676495/

Notes to Editors:

On October 30, 2013, Qatar Airways joined the oneworld alliance, becoming the first major Gulf carrier to join the global airline alliance, enabling its customers to benefit from almost 1000 airports in more than 150 countries, with 14,000 daily departures.

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, in 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. The airline has also been named Best Airline in the Middle East for the seventh year in a row, and its Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport named Best Premium Service Airport for the third consecutive year in 2013. Qatar Airways has also twice been the recipient of the prestigious Skytrax Airline of the Year Award in 2011 and 2012.

Skytrax is the only global independent passenger survey monitoring airline standards and is considered the ultimate benchmark for excellence in the airline industry.

Qatar Airways currently has orders worth more than US $50 billion for more than 280 aircraft, including Boeing 787s, 777s, Airbus A350s, A380s and the A320 family of aircraft. For more information, visit www.qatarairways.com

For media enquiries:

Qatar Airways Group, Corporate Communications Department
Tel: +974 44302072, Fax: +974 44302069
E-mail: qrmedia@qatarairways.com.qa
Website: www.qatarairways.com


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