Qatar Airways (Doha), as the global launch customer for the Airbus A350-900 XWB, became the first airline to operate the world’s newest aircraft to Singapore and the Asia Pacific region today (May 11), with the inaugural A350-900 XWB service arriving in Singapore’s Changi Airport.
Upon touching down at Singapore Changi Airport, flight QR 944 was greeted by a traditional water cannon salute (above), a long-held tradition to welcome special flights or planes to an airport, and an exclusive welcome ceremony.
Qatar Airways currently operates a double-daily service to Singapore with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner (below) and the aircraft will be progressively replaced by the next-generation A350-900 XWB.
Photo Above: Qatar Airways. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner A7-BCB (msn 38320).
In addition, from later this summer, Qatar Airways will add an additional daily flight to Singapore, as part of its global expansion drive and to cater to the increase in passenger demand. All three daily flights will be operated using the A350-900 XWB by mid-August.
In addition, Qatar Airways has announced an expansion to its UAE services with the launch of nonstop flights to Ras Al Khaimah, commencing on October 1, 2015.
Operating daily, flight QR 1120 will depart Doha’s Hamad International Airport at 20:15 hours and arrive at Ras Al Khaimah International Airport at 22.30 hours. The return flight QR 1121 will depart at 23:30 hours and arrive in Doha at 23:45 hours.
Additionally the carrier announced the introduction of Qatar Airways’ newest offering, the Doha-Dubai Shuttle. Having launched this week, the Doha-Dubai Shuttle will offer flights from Doha’s Hamad International Airport to Dubai International Airport, as well as Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai.
The new service which is the first of its kind flying between the two cities brings with it a number of enhanced services that will reduce overall travel time and increase convenience for passengers. The shuttle service, along with its many perks, will be offered on each of the 18 daily flights between the two cities, with 14 flights to and from Dubai International Airport and four to and from Al Maktoum International Airport.
Copyright Photo Above: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-231 A7-ADX (msn 3397) departs from tropical Doha, Qatar.
According to the airline, “passengers on the Doha-Dubai Shuttle will also be able to enjoy the newly unveiled Qatar Airways inflight entertainment system with its brand new design and identity. The new brand “Oryx One – Explore. Play. Share.” embraces Qatar Airways’ corporate colours and will provide passengers with a comprehensive experience of entertainment, information and connectivity.
Video: Qatar Airways. The new Oryx One on Qatar Airways.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker (below) announced the launch of the Doha-Dubai Shuttle and the unveiled new brand identity of the airline’s inflight entertainment during a press conference on the opening day of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) – the Middle East’s premier travel show – taking place in Dubai this week.
Photo Above: Qatar Airways. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker announces the carrier’s 2015 expansion plans and latest undertakings during a press conference at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.
Specially branded and dedicated check-in counters located at Row 5 at Hamad International Airport will be available for all passengers travelling from Doha to Dubai on the Doha-Dubai Shuttle. Passengers who plan on checking in baggage must check in no later than one hour before their scheduled departure time. Return flights from Dubai to Doha also require check in of a minimum of one hour before the scheduled departure time for all passengers, including those with only hand baggage.
Passengers flying on the Qatar Airways Doha-Dubai Shuttle will also be able to take advantage of fast-track immigration in Doha, allowing them to clear passport control in a minimum amount of time before proceeding to their boarding gates located in either Concourse A or B, which are no more than a seven to 10 minute walk, on average, from passport control.
Qatar Airways has so far announced an the addition of seven destinations to its international map this year – Amsterdam, Ras Al Khaimah, Zanzibar, Faisalabad, Sialkot, Multan and Durban – and is gearing up for more route expansion in 2016 with three new US cities, Los Angeles, Boston and Atlanta.
Finally, Qatar Airways and Royal Air Maroc (Casablanca) have announced the launch of a strategic joint business agreement on their services between the State of Qatar and the Kingdom of Morocco.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker and Royal Air Maroc Chairman and CEO, Mr. Driss Benhima signed the joint business agreement today at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, in the presence of international press and travel trade partners.
The joint business will benefit passengers by providing enhanced links between Qatar and Morocco, greater choice of flights to more destinations and improved frequent flyer benefits. With this new agreement, passengers will be able to purchase a single itinerary combining flights on both carriers’ global networks, affording them the ease of one-stop ticketing and baggage check-in.
Royal Air Maroc will be operating three weekly flights with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Doha complimenting Qatar Airways’ existing seven times weekly flights to Casablanca, giving passengers the flexibility of using a combination of flights from both airlines between Qatar and Morocco, significantly increasing their options.
Video Below: Qatar Airways. Qatar Airways First Officer Robby and his wife talk about the wonderful life they have made for themselves in Doha since he joined the airline. Find out how they have rapidly adapted to the Middle Eastern way of life and why they plan to spend the foreseeable future in this fast-growing, dynamic city, which has so much to offer pilots and their families looking for an exciting new chapter in their lives.
Qatar Airways aircraft slide show:
Copyright Photo below: Bernhard Ross/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A350-941 A7-ALA (msn 006) pis pictured at Frankfurt.