Qatar Airways has taken delivery of three Airbus A350-1000 aircraft and is now the largest operator of Airbus A350 aircraft with 52 in its fleet.
All three new A350-1000s will operate on “strategic” long-haul routes to Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe and should add more belly capacity, joining their forerunners and 30 Boeing 787s.
The choice for investing in a more fuel-efficient twin-engine aircraft comes as Qatar Airways’ fleet of quad-engine A380s remain grounded. “It is not commercially or environmentally justifiable to operate such a large aircraft in the current market,” the airlines explained.
Nearly 74 metres from nose to tail, the A350-1000 is the longest fuselage version of Airbus’ twin-aisle, wide-body jetliners.
First put into service in February 2018, the A350-1000 seats between 350 and 410, slightly less compared to the 500-passenger capacity of its double-deck counterpart, but emits 80 to 95 percent less CO2 on a typical one-way flight.
The Gulf carrier grounded its 10 A380s in March, which are likely to remain parked until passenger demand picks up to “appropriate levels,” Qatar said.
Akbar al-Baker, its chief executive, said in June the jets would remain parked until at least the middle of 2021 and balked at rivals operating the A380, saying they were “foolish” given the insufficient demand.