Number 24 and 25 of Qatar Airways’ 787 Dreamliners at the Everett Delivery Center
Every plane flying today had its delivery flight at one time or another. Many have been built at Paine Field, in Everett, WA and then flown to each airline’s home base to be put into operation. When the opportunity came up to join Qatar Airways on the delivery of their 24th and 25th Boeing 787 Dreamliners, how could I say no? I didn’t!
The 787 line
Down the 787 line
The 777 line
For most airlines, the whole experience is more than just the flight itself. There are pre-events, meals, speeches, and then the best part: the flight. I wasn’t able to participate in everything, but I was able to enjoy a line tour of the both the 787 and 777. Getting into the Boeing Factory never gets old, and seeing how making building complicated aircraft look easy is a feat in and of itself.
The business class cabin in the Qatar 787-8
These media events are also about the people who attend. The airline media world is not so big and made up of many great folks. Part of my excitement was being able to hang out with people like Jason Rabinowitz, Paul Thompson, Seth Miller, and I got to meet Mark Lawrence for the first time. A bunch of AvGeeks flying in a 787 halfway across the world? Yes, please!
Qatar’s first Airbus A350 at Toulouse, ready to fly to Doha – Photo: Chris Sloan | AirwaysNews
This story was written by Chris Sloan and originally published on AirwaysNews.
At 9:28 PM LT on Tuesday, December 23, Qatar’s first A350 XWB landed in Doha–under the cover of darkness–with approximately 70 Qatar employees, VIP’s and media on-board the delivery flight from Toulouse, France.
On Monday, Airbus handed over the first A350 XWB to launch customer Qatar Airways, and shortly after taking delivery of the aircraft, several executives and more than a hundred members of the media flew on a short demonstration flight over the Mediterranean.
The Qatar Airways’ Airbus A350 bar – Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren | JDL Multimedia
The delivery flight to Doha would be operated as a normal commercial scheduled flight, but just with fewer people then typical. Business Class was full while approximately ten passengers–who were all employees of Qatar–would have the two economy cabins to themselves.
A Business Class seat on the Airbus A350 – Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren | JDL Multimedia
As much as I was anticipating experiencing the Airbus A350 XWB in a true commercial flight, I was equally as curious in putting Qatar’s renowned SkyTrax 5-star rated Business Class, marketed and self-proclaimed as “World’s Best Business Class,” to the test. Burning questions include: Would it live up to all the hype and marketing expectations? Is it truly a First Class product at a Business Class price? Is the Airbus A350XWB cabin truly an “eXtra Wide Body” experience in the same league as its 787 competitor from Everett?
Continue reading Flight Review: Taking Qatar Airways’ Airbus A350 Delivery Flight to Doha on AirwaysNews.com
Employees of American stand around a Boeing 777-300ER in new AA livery.
A while back, I was invited to fly on a 777-300ER (77W) delivery flight for American Airlines. In a previous story, I talked about all of the events leading up to the delivery ceremony and flight and now I will continue with sharing my experience.
I was pulling a very long night after the dinner event, working on photos and the writing up the first part of my story. I was up late when I got a tip about a second American Airlines 77W that arrived at Boeing Field in the cover of darkness from Dallas. This was surely not usual and I began researching and found that the aircraft N719AN was flown up, but why?
The wing is astounding on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Photo: Malcolm Muir / AirlineReporter.com.
This is the final installment of a multi-part (PART 1 & PART 2) series was written by AirlineReporter.com correspondent Mal Muir on the Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner delivery flight (note: Qatar Airways covered Malcolm’s trip to Doha to cover this story).
With the flight now well and truly underway, most of the passengers on board were sleeping, but I remained not able to sleep. This is not because of the 787 Dreamliner; I have a history of not being able to sleep on aircraft. This meant that I had plenty of time to explore the plane, get in some work, have a chance to relax, and still fit in a few movies.
Having the on board Wi-Fi meant that I was able handle all of those emails I had been avoiding. For those on a business trip, Wi-Fi allows you to stay connected to the office and remain productive (maybe that is not always a good thing). It also works out if you are a Twitter fanatic, so you do not feel disconnected from the Twitterverse.
What is better than being on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner? Being able to tell all your friends via the internet while flying at 30,000 feet. Photo: Malcolm Muir / AirlineReporter.com.
The extra-large windows were a godsend for those in the back during the flight. As we passed over Iceland they managed to get 2.5 hours of uninterrupted viewing of the Northern Lights. Unfortunately those of us up the front totally missed out since our windows were blacked out — I guess there are some benefits to flying economy.
When there was no outside light-show, I was able to check out the economy section during flight and tested out the Recaro seats. The Seats in the Economy Cabin were comfortable enough and would be fine for the medium length flights this Aircraft was fitted out for. With a leather cover on the neck rest, they felt luxurious while not being to hard or uncomfortable, as some leather cushions can be. I was also able to see the Social Media Command center set up as Qatar Airways was live tweeting their way across the globe.
The business cabin is prepared to start our way into Doha after a long journey. Photo: Mal Muri / AirlineReporter.com.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get any face time with the CEO, Akbar Al Baker, who was on board our flight. He was able to take advantage of the comfy seats and slept most of his way to Doha. I have it say it was surreal seeing the CEO of the airline in the Business Class PJ’s.
As we crossed over Eastern Europe, heading towards Turkey and the Middle East, passengers started to wake up and the cabin crew started serving breakfast with freshly made espresso (not that I hadn’t stopped eating — I had a midnight snack as well).
Flying over Doha — about to land. Photo: Mal Muir / AirlineReporter.com.
As we approached Doha, we prepared for our arrival. The flight was long, but many of us did not want the flight to end. Even though I got no sleep on the 14 hour flight, I felt oddly ready to go. It could have been the adrenaline and excitement, but could also have to do with the Dreamliner itself. The 787 has a new climate control system on board where the cabin is pressurized and humidified at a lower altitude, which allows you to feel more refreshed. I wasn’t fully able to appreciate the difference until my Boeing 777 flight home a few days later (I will be sharing a 787 vs 777 story later).
We started our descent into Doha and as the airport came into view, it was truly a sight to behold. The blue waters of the Gulf, the yellow of the desert and just the small buildings and everything dotting the landscape. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before — and I have seen quite a bit.
Welcome to Doha. Image: Malcolm Muir / AirlineReporter.com.
After we touched down at Doha International Airport we taxied towards the ministerial lounge (currently used for heads of state when they depart and the Amir of Qatar). The taxi ways and other areas of the airport were just full of Qatar Airways and other airport staff, all wanting to welcome the Dreamliner.
Even though we did not get a traditional water cannon salute on arrival, this was still a big deal with over 2 busloads of media waiting for us on arrival with big TV screens to show the aircraft landing. As we disembarked and headed into the lounge area another press conference was underway by the CEO of the airline and the local representative for Boeing.
It was a long, yet fun journey to get to Doha. Photo: Mal Muir / AirlineReporter.com.
Once the press conference was over, the local media were given access to the aircraft while those of us on the flight, were bussed over to the arrivals terminal so that we could clear immigration, customs and get over to our hotel for the evening to get some sleep (at least for those of us who can not sleep well on planes).
The 787 flight was a once in a lifetime experience. It showcased that you can merge cutting edge technologies both in the on board experience and in the hardware of the aircraft itself to bring a truly magnificent piece of aircraft into the sky. I had a few days to explore Doha before my flight home and I look forward to share the rest of my adventures with Qatar Airways in the upcoming weeks.
ALL THE QATAR AIRWAYS BOEING 787 DELIVERY PHOTOS:
||This story written by…Malcolm Muir, Lead Correspondent. Mal is an Australian Avgeek now living and working in Seattle. With a passion for aircraft photography, traveling and the fun that combining the two can bring. Insights into the aviation world with a bit of a perspective thanks to working in the travel industry.
@BigMalX | BigMal’s World | Photos