Qatar Airways (Doha) yesterday (November 20) entered its first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner into revenue service on the short Doha-Dubai route. The company issued the following statement:
Qatar Airways on November 20 began commercial services of its brand new Boeing 787 aircraft with Doha – Dubai becoming the Dreamliner’s debut route.
The state-of-the-art aircraft is being deployed on four daily rotations between the two cities marking a new era for Middle East aviation as Qatar Airways is the Boeing 787 launch customer in the region.
Flight QR 106 took off from Doha International Airport at 0800 hrs for the one hour journey to Dubai.
Qatar Airways’ newest addition to its fleet heralds the start of an exciting new era for travellers worldwide with unparalled levels of comfort and luxury onboard Boeing’s next generation aircraft.
The 787 services to and from the UAE will target peak travel times in a combination of morning, afternoon and night flights to Dubai.
The new operation comes less than a week after the aircraft’s delivery flight from Seattle to Doha, where it has since spent a few days positioned at Doha International Airport giving staff an opportunity to tour the aircraft before it enters commercial service.
Qatar Airways has orders for 60 Dreamliners. The next four 787s are due to join the fleet by the end of December.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the maiden commercial route marked yet another exciting achievement for the award-winning airline.
“Today signifies an exciting and hugely anticipated occasion for Qatar Airways, as well as the global aviation industry. It is with enormous pride for my country, our employees and myself that we are embarking on another momentous achievement for our award-winning airline with the introduction of 787 passenger flights. The Dreamliner is yet another first for Qatar Airways, our customers and for the Middle East aviation industry, he said.
“Dubai is one of our most popular routes and we felt it important to give our passengers in and around our neighbouring city an opportunity to experience the comforts of our new plane before it begins long-haul commercial services.
“With this launch we reaffirm our continued commitment to challenge and lead the aviation industry, redefining the passenger experience as we deliver a truly five-star offering to travellers around the world.
“I have no doubt that our passengers – aviation fanatics, seasoned travellers and first time flyers alike will cherish their first time aboard our 787s and look forward to savouring the experience time and time again. The 787 raises the bar for luxury commercial travel and the experience for travellers around the world will never be the same again,” added Al Baker.
Following the 787s welcome into commercial service on the Doha – Dubai route, it will then spread its wings on one of the airline’s five daily flights to London Heathrow. As more 787s join the fleet over the course of the next few weeks, the aircraft will be inducted on other long-haul routes including Zurich, Frankfurt and Delhi.
Qatar Airways has 254 custom-made seats across its 787 Business and Economy Class cabins with specially designed interiors, together with a unique inflight entertainment system offering over 1,000 audio and video programming options. Its Dreamliners are also the world’s first fully connected 787s with wireless facilities for passengers to remain in touch with their friends and loved ones on the ground.
A striking feature of every seat throughout the aircraft is the award-winning touch screen Android system, where passengers are able to navigate through a truly interactive service offering more than 1,000 movie, TV programmes, music and gaming entertainment options in a sophisticated and user friendly way, just like the latest smart phones.
The touch-screen control unit has a unique dual screen interface allowing passengers to play games on their handheld device while enjoying a movie on their personal screen. Passengers are also able to be fully connected through WIFI and GSM telephony, sending both text and MMS messages, with each seat equipped with USB, MP3 and other charger ports, including laptop power outlets.
In addition, dynamic mood lighting and the composite design of the Dreamliner with lighter materials, will ensure passengers are less fatigued and more refreshed as the cabin pressure is 2,000 feet closer to ground level with an air purification system that is cleaner and healthier than many other aircraft.
The 787 Dreamliner is made up of composite materials making it a lighter and more fuel efficient than any comparable aircraft of its size and range. Key features include larger windows, lower cabin pressure at higher altitude ensuring less fatigue, mood lighting throughout the aircraft and more passenger space and comfort.
Since the beginning of 2012, Qatar Airways has launched flights to 10 new destinations – Baku (Azerbaijan); Tbilisi (Georgia); Kigali (Rwanda); Zagreb (Croatia), Erbil (Iraq), Baghdad (Iraq), Perth (Australia), Kilimanjaro (Tanzania); Yangon (Myanmar), Maputo (Mozambique), and Belgrade (Serbia).
Over the next few weeks and months, Qatar Airways will launch services to a diverse portfolio of new routes, including Warsaw, Poland (December 5), Gassim, Saudi Arabia (7 January 2013); Najaf, Iraq (January 23); Phnom Penh, Cambodia (February 20); Chicago, USA (April 10); and Salalah, Oman (May 22).
Copyright Photo: Eurospot. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner A7-BCB (msn 38320) arrives at Dubai after the historic first flight.