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While I appreciate the marvels of engineering that allow us to fly across continents and oceans and while I enjoy a great aircraft cabin as much as anyone I wouldn’t consider myself an Aviation Geek….but I love the Airbus A350.
I’ve liked the aircraft since I set foot on one of the first A350-900XWBs to be delivered when I flew from Helsinki to London on what was then Finnair’s first A350 aircraft. I like how the aircraft looks (the cockpit windows look like wrap-around shades), I like how quiet the A350 is and I like how the cabin settings make flights less tiring and noticeably more comfortable.
Image courtesy of Airbus
Qatar Airways was the launch customer for the Airbus A350-900 in July 2015 and now, a little over two and a half years later, the airline is the launch customer for the Airbus A350-1000 which was delivered yesterday.
The Qatar Airways A350-1000 is special in a number of ways but the ones most important to most of us are the ways in which the aircraft offers passenger comfort.
Just like the existing A350-900, the cabin pressure in the A350-1000 will be higher than that found in regular aircraft so it will be closer to the pressure we encounter in everyday life. This, combined with the increased humidity the A350 cabin offers, creates a cabin atmosphere closer to the one we’re use to on terra firma and can make travel a lot lest tiring and draining.
In addition to the added comforts that automatically come with the A350 Qatar Airways is adding a couple of its own touches.
Firstly, and most importantly for premium cabin passengers, the A350-1000 comes equipped with the QSuite Business Class cabin – arguably the best Business Class cabin flying today.
Qatar Airways QSuite
Secondly, Qatar Airways is offering seats with 18″ of seat width in the Economy Class cabin (same as what you’ll find in the current Qatar Airways A350 but more than you’ll be offered by the likes of Lufthansa).
The Qatar Airways A350-1000 has a total of 327 seats across two cabins (noticeably fewer than the aircraft’s suggested capacity of 366 seats across 3 cabins) with 46 QSuites and 281 Economy Class seats.
Despite rumors to the contrary (which we heard while Qatar Airways was having issues installing the QSuites in the A350-1000) the aircraft will offer the option of quad cabins in the centre section of Business Class.
Qatar Airways QSuite – Quad Cabin
Per Qatar Airways:
Compared to the A350-900, the A350-1000 features 44 extra seats, with a two-class cabin of 46 award-winning Qsuite Business Class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, featuring 80-inch fully flat beds and 22-inch HD in-flight entertainment screens. This will include 46 suites, with the middle suites able to convert to six double beds, and six quad suites.
Economy Class will contain 281 seats, each 18-inches wide in a 3-3-3 configuration, with up to a 32-inch pitch. Each individual seat will feature an 11.6-inch in-flight entertainment screen, and extra space at shoulder level for passengers in window seats, thanks to the near vertical side wall panels.
Qatar A350-1000 First Confirmed Route & Routes We May See
The first route to get the Qatar Airways A350-1000 will be the Doha – London route and, according to those present at the delivery press conference in Toulouse yesterday, it will debut as flight QR15 on Saturday 24 February (this coming weekend).
During the delivery press conference, and as reported by @A350_Production, the Qatar Airways hierarchy suggested that the US East Coast and Australasia will be the next destinations to get the new aircraft.
— A350 Production (@A350_Production) February 20, 2018
This is big news for Australia and/or New Zealand as this would be the first time a Qatar Airways flight to Australasia offered the QSuite Business Class cabin.
It’s good news for the East Coast too although, as New York already gets the QSuites and as I suspect it will be the Doha – New York route that gets the A350-1000 service, it’s less exciting.
Image courtesy of Airbus
I’m still hoping that Qatar Airways lays on one of its new A350-1000s on the Doha – Singapore route that I’m flying later this year but, with the news that Australasia and the East coast will be getting the aircraft first, that possibility is looking less likely that it was a few weeks ago.
We now have another aircraft in service which offers the QSuite and as it’s an aircraft that also offers a reasonable Economy Class cabin (by modern-day standards) this is good news for travelers….now all I have to do is find a way to try it out without spending the earth!
Featured image courtesy of Airbus