Qatar Air says first A350 arrival moves closer

Test flight takes off over Airbus HQ of first A350 bearing the livery of Gulf carrier
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)
By Andy Sambidge
Tue 04 Mar 2014 02:31 PM

The arrival of Qatar Airways' first A350 later this year has moved one step closer with the first A350 aircraft bearing its livery taking to the skies on a test flight above the home of Airbus in Toulouse.

The latest test flights of the new A350 aircraft come after Qatar Airways CEO, Akbar Al Baker, visited the Airbus last month to thank the company for its efforts in working to fulfil the airline’s ambitious A350 order.

Qatar Airways will see its fleet strengthened significantly over the coming year with more than 200 aircraft currently on order across all modern Airbus product families, from the A320 through to the flagship A380-800, the world’s largest passenger aircraft.

Al Baker said: “Qatar Airways is proud to be the launch customer for this new aircraft, which will offer a unique travel experience for all of our customers as we add to our rapidly expanding fleet, and we look forward to soon taking delivery of the first of our 80 A350s.”

In addition to the 80 A350 it has on order, the airline has a current Airbus fleet comprising the A320, A300Freighter, A319LR, A321, A330 and A340 families.

Qatar Airways is also a customer of the A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft, and expects to take delivery of its first A380 later this year.

The Gulf carrier has seen rapid growth and currently has orders worth more than $50 billion for more than 280 aircraft. The airline flies to 136 destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.

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