Qatar Airways has celebrated another milestone, as its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner landed on home turf in Doha, greeted by hundreds of cheering onlookers.
VIPs, media, airline and airport staff, together with passengers watched with excitement as Qatar Airways’ brand new state-of-the-art Dreamliner swooped into Doha International Airport marking the start of a new era in Middle East aviation.
Qatar Airways is the region’s 787 launch customer with 60 aircraft on order for delivery in phases over the next few years.
Chief executive Akbar Al Baker, who was onboard the delivery flight, was joined by almost 100 passengers privileged to be on the maiden 13-hour journey direct from Seattle, the US west coast home of American aircraft manufacturer Boeing.
Those onboard included international media, senior management from Qatar Airways and Boeing, as well as third party suppliers from companies involved in the 787 project.
The 787 will spend a few days positioned at Doha International Airport giving staff an opportunity to tour the aircraft before it enters commercial service for a few weeks on selected Doha – Dubai flights from November 20th and then deployed long-haul on one of the five daily London Heathrow services.
Seats on the 787 Doha – Dubai flights are now bookable online at qatarairways.com, through any Qatar Airways reservation office or local travel agent.
As more 787s join the fleet over the next few weeks, the aircraft will be inducted on other long-haul routes including Zurich, Frankfurt and Delhi.
Upon arrival in Doha, Al Baker hosted a press conference at which he spoke of his pride and joy on behalf of Qatar Airways of the world’s most advanced passenger aircraft joining the airline’s rapidly growing fleet that now totals 112 jetliners.
“This truly is an historic moment for our country, our people and our airline and on behalf of Qatar Airways, a great privilege to be standing here having flown our newest aircraft,” he said.