Qatar Airways has taken delivery of its first Airbus A380, at the Airbus facility at Finkelwerder Airfield near Hamburg.
Doha-based Qatar Airways has 10 Airbus A380 superjumbos on order. It will take delivery of four of them before the end of this year.
“This has been a moment more than a decade in the making and we are so delighted to unveil a new passenger experience for our travellers,” Akbar Al Baker, group chief executive of Qatar Airways, said at the special event held at Finkenwerder for the hand-over of the airline’s first A380.
“The A380 that we are introducing is not just any A380; we have completely designed every element, giving it a signature touch that has never been seen before on board,” added Al Baker.
“Additionally, 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, making the experience smooth and effortless for passengers,” Al Baker said.
Qatar Airways’ first commercial service with the A380 will be on one of its flights on the Doha-London Heathrow Airport route in October.
As Qatar Airways receives more A380s, the airline will then introduce the type on its Doha-Paris Charles De Gaulle route.
Qatar Airways will operate its A380s in a three-class, 517-seat cabin configuration. Each A380 will have eight First Class seats; 48 seats in Business Class; and 461 seats in Economy Class.
Each First Class seat offers a 90-inch pitch and reclines to become a fully flat bed. The Business Class seats feature a pitch of 52 inches and also recline to fully flat beds.
The Economy Class seats in Qatar Airways’ A380s will offer a pitch of 32 inches and each seat row will be in a 3-4-3-configured, 10-across layout.
Each Qatar Airways A380’s premium cabin is fitted with bespoke elements, such as deluxe finishings and tailor-made fabrics designed exclusively for Qatar Airways.
The in-flight entertainment system on each Qatar A380 uses the Thales mainframe-driven, Top Series Avant system with features such as an Android open platform with intuitive swipe functions and customized HD monitors of up to 26 inches in First Class.
Qatar Airways also operates Airbus A320-family jets, as well as A330s and A340s.
The carrier will be the first customer to receive an Airbus A350 XWB, with delivery of the first customer A350-900 to Qatar Airways due to take place in the fourth quarter.