Qatar Airways has now passed the milestone of 50 A350 aircraft in its fleet, with the delivery of three of the Airbus next-generation planes.

All three of theA350-1000 aircraft are fitted with the carrier’s latest Q Suite business class product. The carrier now has 52 A350s in its fleet, a mixture of the -900 and -1000 variants.

For a review of Q Suite on the A350-1000 on a flight between Doha and London Heathrow, see:

Flight review: Qatar Airways A350-1000 Q Suite business class

Qatar Airways was the launch customer for both the A350-900 and A350-1000, and is the largest operator of A350 Family aircraft (Singapore Airlines currently has just under 50 A350-900s).

The carrier has been focusing on twin-engine A350 and B787 long-haul operations following the onset of Covid-19, with its fleet of ten A380s grounded for the time being.

Qatar Airways’ A380s to remain grounded

The airline said it had it had carried out internal benchmarking comparing the A380 and A350 on routes from London to London, Guangzhou, Frankfurt, Paris, Melbourne, Sydney and New York.

It found that on a typical one-way flight, the A350 aircraft saved a minimum of 16 tonnes of carbon dioxide per block hour compared to the A380, with the superjumbo emitting over 80 per cent more CO2 per block hour than the A350 on each of these routes – and as much as 95 per cent more on flights to Melbourne and New York.

Commenting on the news Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker, said:

“Due to Covid-19’s impact on travel demand, we will continue to fly greener and smarter by keeping our fleet of Airbus A380 grounded, as it is not commercially or environmentally justifiable to operate such a large aircraft in the current market.

“Environmentally conscious passengers can travel with the reassurance that Qatar Airways continuously monitors the market to assess both passenger and cargo demand to ensure it operates the most efficient aircraft on each route.

“Rather than being forced to fly oversized aircraft due to limited aircraft options, reducing the flexibility for passengers to travel when they want, Qatar Airways has a variety of sustainable aircraft it can choose from to offer more flights with the right capacity in each market.

“Passengers can also rely on our airline operate an honest schedule of flights with our mixed fleet giving us the ability to maintain services, and upgrade or downgrade aircraft size depending on passenger demand.”