Frankfurt has been confirmed as the first destination for the Airbus A350 when it enters scheduled service next year.
Qatar Airways, the launch customer for the new generation aircraft, will fly it to the Germany city from its Doha base from mid-January. The airline currently flies twice a day between the two cities with the QR67/68 being the first to be operated by the Extra Wide Body aircraft. The airline said that the QR69/70 would switch to the new aircraft shortly afterwards but has not given any firm dates.
Qatar Airways’ A350 will seat 283 passengers, with 247 in economy and 36 in business class. Qatar Airways has chosen to place the aircraft on the route to the German business centre after taking delivery of its first Airbus A380 in September, which now operates the London route.
The airline has 80 Airbus A350s on order, and expects to introduce the first eight production aircraft into its fleet before the end of 2015.
Akbar Al Baker, the airline’s group chief executive said: “This year has truly been a ‘Year of the Fleet’ for Qatar Airways. The airline has demonstrated its commitment to quality and comfort offered on board and to providing passengers with the leading technology available in the aviation industry.”
Before the end of this year the airline will reach 146 destinations, launching new services to Djibouti on October 26 and Asmara in Eritrea on December 4. Qatar Airways presently flies to 144 destinations.