Airbus A350 start stretching its wings

By Bjorn Fehrm


May 6, 2015, c. Leeham Co. Qatar Airways, as the first operator of the Airbus A350, now has four months of experience of the new twin aisle aircraft. As we have described in Bjorn’s Corner two weeks ago, the introduction has gone well, without major incidents.


Qatar Airways’ A350 stretching its wings. Source: Airbus.

The first destination was Doha-Frankfurt, to be followed by Doha-Singapore on June 1. Both destinations are mid-range, with flying times of six to eight hours. These can be seen as introductory rotations, close to Qatar’s base should replacement aircraft or maintenance actions be needed.

With the first period in the bag, Qatar now feels confident enough to announce how they will take the A350 to its true job types. Here the relevant parts of what Qatar Airways announced Tuesday this week:

“Increasing passenger demand to America’s largest city and financial centre, New York, has prompted Qatar Airways to add a second daily service to the city from 1st March 2016. Qatar Airways has served the city daily since the initial route launch in 2007. The second daily service to New York’s JFK will be operated by the Airbus A350 XWB aircraft providing passengers an opportunity to experience both the Boeing B777 and the A350 aircraft types on the route.

“ From 16th March, 2016, the airline will launch daily flights to Boston, the capital and largest city of Massachusetts, and will operate its latest flagship A350 XWB in a two-class configuration with 36 Business Class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, featuring an 80” fully flat bed and 17” HD in-flight entertainment screen.”

This is more challenging work for an A350 and we will therefore take a first look into what Qatar can expect in terms of overall aircraft performance on such destinations come spring next year. Read more