By Andy Sambidge
Dreamliner aircraft arrives in Qatar for three-day visit as part of international tour
The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner has touched down in Doha, as part of the global Dream Tour.
During a three-day visit to the Gulf state, representatives from Qatar Airways and the Qatar government will be able to experience newly-launched aircraft.
ZA003 was originally used for flight testing and has now been refurbished to showcase the 787's innovative interior and other features.
The visit - its only Middle East stop - is part of a six-month international show tour as Boeing moves to bolster investor confidence after the jetliner’s three-year delay.
Qatar’s national carrier, Qatar Airways, has 30 787s on order and an option for 30 more, and will be the first regional airline to receive the jetliner with its first delivery in Q2, 2012.
Boeing said the Dream Tour will take in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
"The 787 Dreamliner is a game-changing airplane and we're delighted to bring this innovative product to our customers who will soon be receiving their own 787s," said Ray Conner, vice president of sales for Boeing Commercial Airplanes in comments published last month.
Boeing postponed deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner seven times, resulting in a three-year delay, after grappling with new materials, engine supply disruptions and other problems.
More than 820 of the jets are on order to 55 airlines, including Gulf carriers Qatar Airways, Gulf Air and Amman-based Royal Jordanian.
The US aircraft giant has promised the twin-engine plane will deliver a 20 percent improvement in fuel efficiency, at a time of $100-plus oil.