DOHA QATAR Airways has taken delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner at a special ceremony held at the US aircraft manufacturer’s Seattle headquarters.
A Boeing hangar was the fitting venue for the official handing over of the aircraft to Qatar Airways, a ceremony watched by scores of airline management, Boeing executives and both local and international media. Guest of honour was Qatar’s Ambassador to the United States, HE Mohamed bin Abdulla al Rumaihi. The delivery marks a milestone in Middle East aviation with Qatar Airways becoming the first airline from the region to take delivery of the 787. The Doha-based carrier has 60 Dreamliners on order with deliveries planned over the next few weeks, months and years.
Addressing guests at the Seattle ceremony, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said the newest aircraft type to join the airline’s fleet since 2007 represented a momentous occasion as the company entered a new chapter in its remarkable history.
“Five years ago, Boeing delivered its first ever aircraft to us, a triple seven. In 2007, we celebrated another milestone as Qatar Airways entered the American market with the launch of scheduled flights to New York and Washington DC,” he said.
“Today, we are witness to stronger ties with the United States and Boeing as we become the first Middle East customer to take delivery of the 787 Dreamliner.
“Boeing has crafted a stateof- the-art aeroplane, designed to be yet another asset to excel our signature Five Star service in the sky to all our passengers across the Middle East and around the world.” He added: “Qatar Airways set about a dream to fly our nation’s flag to all corners of the world when we launched operations 15 years ago. We have been the World’s Best Airline for two consecutive years and today we are spreading our wings further with the delivery of one of the most advanced aircraft in the world.
“Our decision to invest in the 787 that is at the forefront of new aerospace technology represents the future of air travel and reflects our firm belief in its unrivalled capabilities and the value it will add to our fleet and network expansion plans.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner said: “There is no doubt in my mind that Qatar Airways is one of the most remarkable airline success stories of our time and it is only fitting that it has taken delivery of the most technologically advanced jetliner of our time.
“The 787, with its unmatched fuel efficiency and passenger comfort, is certain to enable Qatar Airways’ plans to continue to deliver on its promise of quality and profitability.
Today’s delivery marks the beginning of a new chapter in Boeing’s partnership with Qatar Airways, which is based on a mutual commitment to excellence.” Made from composite materials, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is the first mid-size airplane capable of flying longrange routes.
Upon entering service, Qatar Airways’ first 787 will initially operate with commercial passengers on flights to Dubai to familiarise crew of the aircraft before making its maiden longhaul commercial flight between Doha and London Heathrow next month. As more Dreamliners join the fleet, they will be deployed on other key routes, including Zurich, Delhi and Frankfurt.
Qatar Airways’ new 787s feature a total of 254 seats in a two-class configuration of 22 in Business Class and 232 in Economy. With a 1–2–1 configuration in Business Class, the layout features two less seats than competitors on conventional wide body aircraft, more typical of a First Class cabin where each passenger is assured of direct aisle access.