Qatar Airways takes delivery of world’s first A350

23 Dec 2014 by Clement Huang
In front of a crowd of more than 150 international media, Qatar Airways celebrated the delivery of the world's first Airbus A350 XWB aircraft. The fuel-efficient airplane was originally slated to for delivery earlier this month, as reported by Business Traveller Asia-Pacific (see here), but the receiving ceremony was unexpectedly postponed. Qatar Airway's new Airbus A350 XWB While both Qatar Airways and Airbus have not commented on the reason why delivery was postponed, rumours have circulated that the former chose to delay delivery due to the first A350 being heavier than promised – a factor that would negatively affect the fuel efficiency of the aircraft. However, it appears that Qatar Airways is now satisfied with the delivered aircraft, as the airline hosted a press conference and delivery ceremony at Airbus’ headquarters in Toulouse. Delivery ceremony press conference Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar Al Baker expressed pride that his company was the launch customer for the A350, and raved about the benefits of the new aircraft. “As global launch customer for the A350 XWB, we are receiving the newest and most modern aircraft that the world will see for at least another decade,” said Al Baker. Qatar Airways' cabin crew “With our significant order as launch customer for 80 of this aircraft type, it has enabled Airbus to create an aircraft that not only considers every aspect of passenger comfort, but also features the cutting-edge light-weight carbon composite design, which in turn allows fuel consumption and noise to be reduced, along with many other leading features”. The A350 will begin active service in January 2015, when Qatar Airways deploys it on the Doha–Frankfurt route. It will feature a two-class configuration with 36 in business (1-2-1 layout), and 247 in economy (3-3-3 layout). The world watches on – Airbus A350 XWB Business Traveller Asia-Pacific will be visiting the Gulf carrier’s base in Doha next month to inspect the new aircraft. Stay tuned for our first look of the A350 XWB. For more information, visit Clement Huang
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