The Qatar Airways A350, simply beautiful Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The Qatar Airways A350, simply beautiful – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Ever since first seeing the Airbus A350 at the Singapore Airshow last year, I have had a soft spot for this aircraft. I was over the moon with excitement when the news came that I had been invited by Qatar Airways to cover the inauguration ceremony in Doha prior to its inaugural flight to Frankfurt on the 15th of January.

The aircraft had been officially handed over to Qatar Airways on the 22nd of December, 2014, in a special delivery ceremony hosted by Airbus.

A nice welcome at the press conference Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

A nice welcome at the press conference – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The inauguration ceremony in Doha was accompanied by much fanfare, including a fun-filled three-day activity program for over 130 members of media from all over the world. Although there was no demonstration flight, like the event in Toulouse, it was still a very exciting and fun event to be part of.

The below photo report covers not only the official press conference and aircraft tour, but also the rather extravagant evening inauguration ceremony. This ceremony was one of the most impressive spectacles I had ever witnessed, and it was magnificently organized, right down to the choreographed light show on the aircraft. For the best viewing experience, be sure to click on each photo for the full resolution image to be displayed.

HE Akbar Al Baker (Qatar Airways Group CEO) begins the press conference in Doha along with Mr Dider Evrard (Airbus Executive VP) and Mr Eric Schulz (Rolls Royce President of civil large engines) Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

HE Akbar Al Baker (Qatar Airways Group CEO) begins the press conference in Doha, along with Dider Evrard (Airbus Executive VP) and Eric Schulz (Rolls Royce President of civil large engines) – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

One of the highlights for me during the event was the press conference with HE Akbar Al Baker. It is always such a joy to hear him speak; he really is setting a new standard and raising the bar for commercial air travel.

Now we move on to some of the AvGeek eye-candy that was the tour on-board the aircraft, as well as a spectacular night-time photoshoot.

The rather spacious AFT galley on-board the Qatar Airways A350 Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The rather spacious aft galley on the Qatar Airways A350 – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The crew rest area with a capacity for six crew members at any one time Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The crew rest area, with a capacity for six crew members at any one time – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Economy class is configured in a 3-3-3 layout Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Economy class is configured in a 3-3-3 layout – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The business end of the A350, complete with six large screen LCD displays Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The business end of the A350, complete with six large-screen LCD displays – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The spacious and rather open-plan business class cabin, the sense of space is further enhanced by the flat ceilings and lack of centre overhead bins. Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The spacious and rather open-plan business class cabin; the sense of space is further enhanced by the flat ceilings and lack of center overhead bins – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The central bar area in business class Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The central bar area in business class – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Centre business class seats, the cabin is setup in a 1-2-1 layout ensuring direct aisle access for all seats Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Center business class seats; the cabin is setup in a 1-2-1 layout – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

All business class seats convert to lie-flat beds complete with mattress and duvet Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

All business class seats convert to lie-flat beds, complete with mattress and duvet – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Window blinds are controlled electronically in the business class cabin Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Window blinds are controlled electronically in the business class cabin – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Probably the best looking winglet ever designed Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Probably the best looking winglet ever designed – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

All business class seats offer direct aisle access Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

All business class seats offer direct aisle access – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The impressive Rolls-Royce Trent XWB which powers the A350 Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The impressive Rolls-Royce Trent XWB, which powers the A350 – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

A very smart looking nose section complete with the trademark A350 "bandit" wrapping around the cockpit windows Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

A very smart-looking nose section complete with the trademark A350 “bandit” wrapping around the cockpit windows – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Following the afternoon aircraft tour it was time to prepare for the evening reveal ceremony and inauguration dinner. Below is a selection of images from this stunning presentation.

The stunning light show on the A350  Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The stunning light show on the A350 – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The entire light show laster for close to five minutes Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

The entire light show lasted for close to five minutes – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

I am not one for night photography but for this I will make an exception Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

I am not one for night photography, but for the A350 I will make an exception – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Simply stunning Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Simply stunning – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

A very Arabian night theme with the rising moon in the background Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

A very “Arabian night” theme with the rising moon in the background – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Great use of coloured light projections made for some fun shots Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

Great use of colored light projections made for some fun shots – Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter

It was so exciting to be a part of an event where an airline is obviously so proud of their new aircraft type.

Note: Qatar took care of my accommodations while staying in Doha. Opinions are my own. 

SENIOR CORRESPONDENT - PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC A native of Australia, Jacob’s interest in aviation first came about as a child going on a long-haul flight between Australia and Europe to visit relatives. In addition to being a pilot himself, he has worked in operations for a charter airline, been on-the-ramp handling aircraft, worked as a slot coordinator for major airports, and currently works as an aircraft charter broker for corporate and VIP clients throughout Eastern Europe. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys photography, plane spotting, and travel. Email: [email protected].

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8 Comments

The French do know extremely well how to put on a fashion show (… think of super models in Paris), much better than Americans, and most of the rest of the world, for that matter.

Presentation wise, be it its web sites, photo/video collections, and all kinds if PR materials presented that can be found on the web, Airbus beats Boeing hands down.

Well, all the hoopla in this story was done by Qatar Airways in Doha.

David, AirlineReporter

The A350 is the most stylish jetliner designed . Why? Because it wears Sunglasses 😛

A great story and exceptional pix, Jacob. “HE” Al Baker (A cultural cross-dresser perhaps?) is always an entertainment event unto himself, but that is Qatar… Without question the A350 is a most impressive airplane (that real galley pic is superb!), but as a life-long NW native, I guess I’ll remain a Boeing guy. Thanks for the great report. -C.

Another Boeing copy as usual after the fact.

Very stylish photos but in the end its just another big tube with powerful engines for the guys in economy!

@Heloflight: That’s not going to change anytime in next few decades.

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