Qatar Airways has taken delivery of first Boeing 777-200 Long Range aircraft, which made its maiden journey from Seattle to Doha in just under 15 hours.
The aircraft - Qatar Airways’ sixth Boeing 777 - takes the airline’s fleet size to 66 aircraft, in just the airline’s 12th year in operation.
“I am extremely delighted and proud as a Qatari to have flown this wonderful aircraft on its faultless journey all the way from Seattle to Doha,” said Captain Amin Qush, Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777 training pilot.
“I have been privileged to have flown a number of delivery aircraft over the years, but this Boeing 777-200LR was something different, its performance and the performance of the engine was exceptional as we cruised to an altitude of 41,000 feet for more than 14 hours.”
The Boeing 777-200LR has a range of up to 17 hours and is capable of flying to virtually any key business or leisure destination worldwide from Qatar Airways’ Doha hub non-stop. The Doha - Houston route, linking the energy capitals of the world, will be Qatar Airways’ first long-haul service to be operated with the Boeing 777-200LR aircraft with its launch scheduled for March 30.
The Houston route will also be one of the world’s longest non-stop flights. Until the Houston launch, the aircraft will be deployed on routes in the Middle East and South Asia to allow crew to get more accustomed to the aircraft.
In November 2007, Qatar Airways placed orders for 32 Boeing 777 passenger and cargo aircraft, comprising 14 of the 777-300ER variant, six 777-200LRs and seven 777-200 Freighters. There are options for a further five Boeing 777s.
With six Boeing 777s currently flying in Qatar Airways’ colours, the remaining 26 will be delivered within two years and the aircraft will form the backbone of the airline’s long-haul fleet of the future. The two Boeing 777 passenger variants will facilitate a major expansion in the airline’s long haul network.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “Qatar Airways truly is an international airline and this was reflected by the flight operating crew who brought our newest Boeing 777 to Doha to mark yet another milestone in our history, being the longest flying aircraft in our fleet. The airline also scooped “World’s Leading Business Class” at the 2008 World Travel Awards.
“With a flying range of up to 17 hours non-stop, this aircraft will offer passengers ultimate levels of comfort and service to ultra long-haul destinations direct from Doha. The aircraft also features unrivalled facilities, which will certainly provide our competitors with something to think about.”
Business Class passengers are able to enjoy comfortable and spacious seats offering a pitch of up to 78 inches with each seat converting into 180-degree fully flat beds. With a 2-2-2 seating configuration, Business Class passengers are assured of either a window or aisle seat and plenty of space.
In Economy Class, seat space is above the industry average with a pitch of up to 34 inches offering significant leg room, while the 217 seats in a 3-3-3 configuration are the most spacious of any airline flying to Houston.
Offering a superb experience in all class categories, Qatar Airways is renowned for its internationally acclaimed Five Star service, superior cuisine and on-board entertainment options, additionally earning the credit of being the first Middle East carrier to provide fully flat beds in business class to Houston.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “The Boeing 777s offer the greatest levels of space and comfort across our long-haul fleet. With a 78-inch Business Class pitch, our 42 premium seats are undoubtedly the best in the region. And our 217 seats in Economy offer the greatest levels of comfort in this cabin than any other airline in the region.”
Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 66 Airbus and Boeing aircraft to 83 key business and leisure cities across Europe, Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Far East and North America.