Al-Baker and Saurwein at the Qatar Airways press conference at ITB Berlin yesterday. Right: Qatar Airways A380 First Class seating configuration.

Qatar Airways yesterday made a series of announcements at ITB Berlin, regarding the airline’s first A380-800, with the first display of the new luxury First Class seats that will form part of the aircraft’s tri-class configuration.

The announcements were made on the opening day of the biggest European travel trade show by Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker together with the airline’s new country manager for Germany and Austria, Günter Saurwein.

Qatar Airways said it would take delivery of its first three Airbus A380 aircraft in June and inaugurate its superjumbo services with a daily flight to London, Reuters reported.

With a customised interior meeting the high demand specifications of Qatar Airways, the first of the airline’s 13 new A380s will enter service this year.

Featuring a tri-class configuration of seating in First, Business and Economy classes, over two decks, the A380 is the largest passenger jet in the world.

The new First Class A380 seat, revealed by al-Baker at a ceremony attended by the Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit as guest of honour, features a 90-inch seat pitch, transforming into a fully flat bed, together with an expansive choice of entertainment options displayed on individual 19-inch television screens.

Al-Baker said, “It is a landmark moment to see this fantastic new First Class A380 seat displayed here at ITB Berlin, the perfect event at which to announce such important innovations to our global audience. Operating on the Doha to London Heathrow route, this cabin will offer a new level of comfort for passengers travelling to the UK, who will also benefit from our premium terminal in Doha and the new Qatar Airways premium lounge in London Heathrow Terminal 4.”

The arrival the first A380 marks a significant milestone for the airline, whose future home, the Hamad International Airport (HIA), has been specially designed to cater to the aircraft, with six contact gates designed with specifications required for the superjumbo. In addition, the maintenance hangar at the HIA – which will be the largest in the world – is able to accommodate two A380s simultaneously.

Qatar Airways is also celebrating a year of intensive fleet growth and recently becoming a member of the oneworld global alliance network, as well as exclusive codeshare partnerships with British Airways, Cathay Pacific and American Airlines, offering customers seamless journeys.

In addition to the A380, Qatar Airways is also set this year to welcome the first of 80 A350, the world’s newest aircraft, as Airbus’s launch customer. This forms part of Qatar Airways plans to significantly expand its fleet with 300 additional aircraft, worth more than $50bn, on order, including the Boeing 787 and 777X.




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