DOHA QATAR Airways’ first Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft took off from Doha for Dubai on Tuesday on its maiden commercial flight.
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.
The Flight QR106 took off from Doha International Airport at 0800 hrs for the one-hour journey to Dubai.
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 came in less than a week after the aircraft’s delivery flight from Seattle to the Doha International Airport to give staff an opportunity to get familiar with the aircraft before it entered commercial service.
Qatar Airways has placed 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 another achievement for the airline.
“This day signifies an exciting and anticipated occasion for Qatar Airways as well as the global aviation industry. It is with pride for my country, our employees and myself that we are embarking on another momentous achievement for our awardwinning 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 added: “Dubai is one of our most popular routes and we felt it is 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.” “I have no doubt that our passengers will cherish their first time onboard our 787s and look forward to savouring the experience time and again. The 787 raises the bar for luxury commercial travel and the experience for travellers around the world will never be the same again,” Baker added.
After the Doha – Dubai route, the 787 will 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.