Qatar Airways has welcomed the delivery of its first A380 at a press at the Airbus Factory in Hamburg.
With ten Airbus A380-800s on order, Qatar Airways is preparing to take delivery of four of them before the end of this year.
Speaking at the press conference chief executive Akbar Al Baker said: “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.
“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.
“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.
“At Qatar Airways we pay careful consideration to all elements of the passenger experience and are regularly introducing innovations that make a travel experience what it should be – enjoyable and something to look forward to.”
The airline will first introduce A380 services on one of its frequencies on the Doha – London route from October, followed by Paris Charles De Gaulle shortly thereafter.
The 517-seat aircraft is spread across twin decks in a tri-class configuration of eight seats in First Class; 48 seats in Business Class and 461 in Economy Class.
The First Class seats feature a 90-inch pitch with a fully flat bed.
Business Class seats feature a pitch of 52 inches which also recline to fully flat beds.
Economy Class passengers benefit from the most spacious A380 arrangement flying in the skies, with a pitch of 32 inches spread in a 10-seats-across layout.
In-flight entertainment on board is state-of-the-art using the Thales mainframe Top Series Avant system with features such as an Android open platform with intuitive swipe functions and customised HD monitor of up to 26 inches in First Class.
The airline currently operates a mixed fleet of the Airbus family of aircraft, a large contingent being the single-aisle A320s and also a mixed range of A330s and A340s.
In the last quarter of 2014, it is expected that the airline will start receiving its first A350 XWB aircraft as the world’s launch customer.