Qatar Airways today announced that it will deploy its first A380 onto its London Heathrow route this summer.
The news came as the Gulf carrier premiered the superjumbo’s first class cabin at the ITB trade fair in Berlin.
It will contain eight seats/beds, which will be among the widest and largest in the air once the aircraft is launched.
Each first class seat will feature a 90-inch pitch and transform into a fully-flat bed.
The IFE screen, too, will be the largest currently offered by Qatar at 26-inches wide.
There will be an exclusive first class lounge on board and a “dining for two” option in which passengers can sit opposite one another.
CEO Akbar Al Baker said that there was a market for such a seat on certain routes (such as the London to Doha route), and the intent was to offer something the competition did not have. He said that Qatar had deliberately not gone for the suites with “sliding doors”, though the suite with only eight seats in the cabin would offer all the privacy passengers would wish for.
The airline has 13 A380-800s on order and will fit them out in a three-class configuration of first, business and economy over two decks.
Al Baker said: “It is a landmark moment to see this fantastic new first class A380 seat displayed here at ITB Berlin.
“Operating on the Doha to London Heathrow route, this cabin will offer a new level of comfort for passengers travelling to the United Kingdom, who will also benefit from our Premium Terminal in Doha and the new Qatar Airways Premium Lounge in London Heathrow Terminal 4.”
The Airbus will operate on QR1 and QR2 to and from London and Doha, replacing an A340-500.
Qatar Airways’ A380 will feature at the Farnborough International Airshow in July (see news, February 17).
In addition to the 13 A380s the airline currently has on order, Qatar Airways is also set this year to welcome the first of 80 A350 aircraft as Airbus’ launch customer (see news, March 2).