Qatar Airways announced it was taking delivery of three brand new Airbus A350-1000s this month from manufacturer Airbus S.A.S.
The three aircraft are due to begin service on some of the carrier’s Africa’s, America’s, Asia Pacific’s and Europe’s routes bringing additional capacity while the A380 fleet remains grounded.
For the airline which now operates 52 twin-engined Airbus A350s in its long haul fleet, the larger-variant A350-1000 offers dramatic fuel saving performance over the four-engined A380s.
With the global Covid19 crisis continuing to batter the commercial air travel industry, Qatar Airways is betting on environmentally-friendly and fuel efficient aircraft as key to rebuilding a business that may only be able to recover over the longer term.
While the 34 shorter variant A350-900s that form the mainstay of the A350 fleet are configured to accommodate 36 of the carrier’s highly acclaimed QSuite Business Class seats along with 247 Economy seats, the 18 A350-1000s have all been configured with 46 QSuite Business class seats and 281 Economy class seats.
This configuration provides slightly less capacity than availed on some of the larger Boeing 777-300ERs which seat 42 Business seats along with 312 Economy seats. Nevertheless as a business proposition, the A350 more modern design and superior fuel efficiency is only comparable to Boeing’s newer generation 787, also part of Qatar Airways long haul fleet.
Qatar Airways expects that the A350’s HEPA air filtering technology which refreshes cabin air every two to three minutes will help alleviate some of the health and safety concerns generated by the Covid19 crisis. Drastic cleaning measures at Hamad International Airport, the carrier’s hub have also been put in place.