Qatar Airways announced December 13 as the launch date of its first long-haul Boeing 787 commercial service from Doha to London Heathrow.
The 787 Dreamliner will debut on the Heathrow route as Doha-based Qatar Airways becomes the first airline to operate regular scheduled flights to the UK with Boeing's next generation aircraft.
Initially, one of the airline's five daily flights will be operated with the Boeing 787 – Flight QR 075 departing Doha at 0625 hrs, arriving at London Heathrow at 1105 hrs, with the return flight QR 076 departing London Heathrow at 1505 hrs, arriving in Doha at 0045 hrs the following day.
Seats on the 787 Doha – London flights are now bookable online at qatarairways.com, through any Qatar Airways reservation office or local travel agent.
Passengers will have the opportunity to travel onboard one of the most sophisticated, spacious and comfortable aircraft in the skies today.
Qatar Airways took delivery of the first of 60 Dreamliners earlier this month with the second arriving over the weekend. Both aircraft are currently operating commercial flights on intra-Gulf routes to familiarise operating crew with the aeroplane before entering the long-haul market.
The Dreamliner marks the start of an exciting new era for travellers worldwide with unparalleled levels of comfort and luxury onboard Boeing’s newest aircraft.
Qatar Airways’ new addition to its fleet also heralds a fresh era for Middle East aviation with the carrier being the Boeing 787 launch customer in the region.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the maiden long-haul 787 service to London had been in the pipeline for some time.
“We are delighted at last with today’s announcement that in just over two weeks’ time, the UK market will see its first 787 on a regular full commercial service when it flies into London Heathrow,” he said.
“Inaugurating our 787 on the London Heathrow route puts Qatar Airways firmly on the global aviation map as a carrier with a determination to continue its expansion drive and improve an already superior in-flight product.
“Both new and existing customers in the UK and further afield on connecting flights will soon have an opportunity to fly on the most talked-about aircraft in the world in and out of London.
“We have already received our second 787 with a further three to join our fleet by the end of the year. And we won’t stop there. With more 787s being inducted into the fleet next year, further route launches and our move to a brand new international airport in Doha during 2013, we continue to look forward to another year of exciting developments.
“With our ever-expanding international network, more people from different parts of the world will have an opportunity to fly Qatar Airways and our new 787s to and from our Doha hub.”
Qatar Airways’ 787s are the world’s first fully connected Dreamliners with wireless facilities for passengers to remain in touch with their friends and loved ones on the ground through the internet and SMS mobile texting across both the Business and Economy cabins.
A striking feature of every seat throughout the aircraft is the award-winning touch screen Android system, where passengers are able to navigate through a truly interactive service offering more than 1,000 movie, TV programmes, music and gaming entertainment options in a sophisticated and user friendly way, just like the latest smart phones.
The touch-screen control unit has a unique dual screen interface allowing passengers to play games on their handheld device while enjoying a movie on their personal screen. Passengers can stay connected through WIFI and GSM telephony, sending both text and MMS messages, with each seat equipped with USB, MP3 and other charger ports, including laptop power outlets.
Qatar Airways has 254 custom-made seats across its 787 Business and Economy Class cabins with specially designed interiors. Business Class is configured 1–2–1 with 22 seats, while Economy has 232 seats in a 3–3–3 layout.
In addition, dynamic mood lighting and the composite design of the Dreamliner with lighter materials, will ensure passengers are less fatigued and more refreshed as the cabin pressure is 2,000 feet closer to ground level with an air purification system that is cleaner and healthier than many other aircraft.
The 787 Dreamliner is made up of composite materials making it a lighter and more fuel efficient than any comparable aircraft of its size and range. Key features include larger windows, lower cabin pressure at higher altitude ensuring less fatigue, mood lighting throughout the aircraft and more passenger space and comfort.
One of the world’s fastest growing airlines, Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 15 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 114 aircraft to 121 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and The Americas.
Since the beginning of 2012, Qatar Airways has launched flights to 11 new destinations – Baku (Azerbaijan); Tbilisi (Georgia); Kigali (Rwanda); Zagreb (Croatia), Erbil (Iraq), Baghdad (Iraq), Perth (Australia), Kilimanjaro (Tanzania); Yangon (Myanmar), Maputo (Mozambique) and Belgrade (Serbia).
Over the next few weeks and months, Qatar Airways will launch services to a diverse portfolio of new routes, including Warsaw, Poland (December 5), Gassim, Saudi Arabia (7 January 2013); Najaf, Iraq (January 23); Phnom Penh, Cambodia (February 20); Chicago, USA (April 10); and Salalah, Oman (May 22).