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September 18, 2014

First Look: Qatar Airways Unveils First A380

Good news for international travelers: Qatar Airways held a press briefing along with Airbus at the Airbus Factory in Hamburg, Germany, this week as the airline took delivery of its first A380.

The airline has 10 Airbus A380-800s on order and is preparing to take delivery of four of them before the end of this year.

Speaking at the press conference Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said that the newly opened Hamad International Airport, the airline’s hub in Doha, has been specifically created with the A380 in mind, with five contact gates dedicated only for this aircraft.

The airline will first introduce A380 services on one of its frequencies on the Doha – London route from October, followed by Paris Charles De Gaulle shortly thereafter.

The 517-seat aircraft is spread across twin decks in a tri-class configuration of eight seats in First Class; 48 seats in Business Class and 461 in Economy Class. The First Class seats have a 90-inch pitch with a fully flat bed. Business Class seats have a pitch of 52 inches and also recline to fully flat beds. Economy Class passengers reportedly have the most spacious A380 arrangement of any airline, with a pitch of 32 inches spread in a ten-seats-across layout.

The airline currently operates a mixed fleet of the Airbus family of aircraft, a large contingent being the single-aisle A320s and also a mixed range of A330s and A340s.

In the last quarter of 2014, it is expected that the airline will start receiving its first A350 XWB aircraft as the world’s launch customer.

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