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IMAGES: Qatar Airways Unveils its New Airbus A380 First Class

Qatar Airways new A380 First Class. Photo - Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways new A380 First Class – Photo: Qatar Airways

This week, Qatar Aiways unveiled what their new First Class product on the Airbus A380 will look like and it is impressive.

There are some immediate things that jump out and excite me beyond the hard statistics. The colors and branding fit right in with the overall Qatar Airways color palette. Many airlines, to their detriment, completely lose all branding in their premium cabin and begin to focus on creating an atmosphere that attempts to soothe the passenger away.

Qatar Airways’ first A380 took off from Toulouse on its maiden flight to Hamburg where the aircraft will be fitted with its cabin before being painted. Image: Airbus.

Qatar Airways’ first A380 before being fully painted – Photo: Airbus

There are some airlines that even make their premium cabins look like hospitals covered in billboards… but I won’t mention names.  It looks as if Qatar Airways has decided to create an elegant, welcoming living room-like atmosphere without losing their identity as an airline inside. As an aircraft interiors geek, I find this exciting.

Continue reading IMAGES: Qatar Airways Unveils its New Airbus A380 First Class

Airbus Shows Off Special Qatar Airways’ Livery on Fourth A350

A Hybrid Qatar Airways livery is painted onto the latest Airbus A350XWB - Photo: Qatar Airways

A hybrid Qatar Airways/Airbus livery is painted onto the latest test A350XWB – Photo: Airbus

In Toulouse, France this past week, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker made a visit to inspect the Airbus A350XWB manufacturing line ahead of the first delivery of the type to the airline later this year.  As Al Baker inspected the A350 line, along with senior Qatar & Airbus management, Airbus revealed a special livery for their latest aircraft (MSN004).

MSN004 was painted in a hybrid Airbus & Qatar Airlines launch customer livery.  Part Qatar Airways at the front, and the standard Airbus livery in the rear, the most noticeable features are the striking Oryx logos, not only on the aircraft body but also on the unique A350 winglets.

The aircraft will soon join the Airbus test fleet, where it will will be used for external noise and lightning tests, avionics development & certification, and training for the first customer pilots & maintenance teams.

Continue reading Airbus Shows Off Special Qatar Airways’ Livery on Fourth A350

Christmas in Poland? Nah, I’ll Fly Qatar to Singapore

One of Qatar's two Oneworld 777s taken through the window of a QR A320 photo by Bernie Leighton |

One of Qatar’s two 0neworld 777s viewed from the window of a QR A320 – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

A few days before departing for Warsaw, I had a stark realization – I actually had no reason to be in Poland other than a milage run. Polish Christmas is not what we are familiar with here in North America. Indeed, the idea of potentially-radioactive Belorussian carp as my main feast for such a joyous occasion caused me some dismay. I admit, there are plenty of amazing things to do in Poland (including two great military and aviation museums) – just not on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Both days, the entire country – including the trains – more or less grinds to a halt.

Now, I could have spent a couple of days in a hotel in downtown Warsaw, and maybe gone shopping before my return home. But practicality is not, and never will be, how I solve problems. My original goal was to fly on Biman’s DC-10 from Kuala Lumpur back to Dacca, but I couldn’t make the times work.  After a call with my usual travel agent (who has come to understand that I have a flare for the weird), I discovered that I could, within the window of my original British Airways fare to and from Poland go on a day trip to Singapore! I also had another goal – could I do it for a similar cost to a week of peak rate hotel time at a luxury hotel in Warsaw? Thanks to Polish currency (3 Zloty =1 USD) I could, and what an itinerary I booked!

We at AirlineReporter have always been fans of Qatar Airways; it was high time I found out what the fuss was about, starting with their Airbus narrow-body fleet. To say the least, I was excited. I had heard nothing but great things about Qatar’s business class from our other staff members. I am, probably, the harshest and most pedantic critic on the AirlineReporter staff. If you are already bored of the article, I can summarize my experience with QR in one word. AMAZING! If you are interested in why, please do continue.

Continue reading Christmas in Poland? Nah, I’ll Fly Qatar to Singapore

SimpliFlying Announces Best Airline Social Media Presence

The Trophies all lined up ready to be handed to the winners of the SimpliFlying Social Media Awards - Photo:

The trophies all lined up ready to be handed to the winners of the SimpliFlying Social Media Awards – Photo:

On a recent flight from Seattle to Phoenix I did something that has become more common. My flight was delayed and I conversed with the airline via Twitter to see if there was anything I could do to make my now-25-minute connection.  Had the airline not had a presence on Twitter, I could have been stranded.  This was not a first though for me; I often deal with the airline social media teams to get situations handled, or to help with a booking.  Social media and airlines seem to go hand-in-hand lately, but what airlines have the best social media presence?

October saw a selection of travel social media heavyweights all gathered for the 4th Annual SimpliFlying Social Media awards in Amsterdam. Over 37,000 votes were collected for the evening’s events to choose the winners.

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Qatar Airways Set to Join Oneworld Alliance Next Month

Qatar Airways to join One World. Image: Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways to join Oneworld. Image: Qatar Airways

An announcement was made today (September 9th) that as of October 30th, Qatar Airways will be officially accepted in to the Oneworld Alliance of airlines.

Oneworld gave the official nod to Qatar after the final reviews and checks were completed by the alliance, in conjunction with British Airways, the sponsoring airline. The review process was completed in record time and with the admission date set for approximately one year after the invitation was announced, making it the fastest approval process for a Oneworld airline to date.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said:  “In Qatar Airways’ relatively short history, we have quickly established a reputation for innovation, quality and excellence in everything we do.  We are pleased to build on that by becoming the only major airline from the Gulf to date to be joining any of the global airline alliances.  We are proud to entering the best of them, in Oneworld – and to be doing so in record quick time.  We very much look forward to flying alongside some of the best airlines in the world from 30 October, bringing the heightened benefits offered by Oneworld to our customers.”

Continue reading Qatar Airways Set to Join Oneworld Alliance Next Month