Qatar’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner at BFI. Photo by Mal Muir / AirlineReporter.com.
This multi-part series was written by AirlineReporter.com correspondent Mal Muir (note: Qatar Airways paid for Mal’s trip to Doha).
On Monday the 12th of November 2012, Qatar Airways took delivery of their first Boeing 787 Dreamliner at a special ceremony at Boeing Field (BFI) in Seattle. Held in the 3-390 Hangar at Boeing Field the event was an extravagant ceremony for an airline that has one of the youngest and most technically advanced fleets in the world.
The event began with a mystery arrival into the hangar where an Arabian style oasis could be found as guests mingled and waited for the main event. A press conference was held at the ceremony by not only Boeing and Qatar Airways but also the Ambassador to Qatar.
The decorations in Seattle for the delivery ceremony. Photo by Mal Muir / AirlineReporter.com.
Mr. Akbar Al Baker, the CEO of Qatar Airways, heralded this momentous event while being bombarded by questions from the global media including Flightglobal, Aviation Week, USA Today, Al Jazeera, and also the local news media as well such as King 5 News Seattle (and of course a select few web bloggers). With financial delivery having being made a week or so earlier (as evidenced by flight QR999 from Everett to Victorville to continue its fit out) rather than the usual signing of paperwork a short gift swapping ceremony was completed to signify the handover of the aircraft.
With the press conference completed a short Promotion Video put together by Qatar Airways to show off their 787 was shown before the big moment. A white sheet was lowered and there standing proud behind it was A7-BCB, the first Qatar Airways 787. After a quick ribbon cutting ceremony by the dignitaries, we were invited on-board and it was like a being a kid in a candy store.
The economy class of Qatar’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Everyone swarmed the aircraft, trying out the seats, seeing the larger windows evident on all 787 aircraft and anticipating the first flight the next day. The 787 configured for a longer haul routes was a sight to behold. Cutting edge In-Flight Entertainment (IFE), new tailor made and designed seats by Recaro and the latest in Wi-Fi connectivity by OnAir, the shiny new airplane just screamed out to everyone.
With thousands of photos taken of both the interior, exterior, candid shots, poses by media, special guests, staff who built the aircraft, we were all back on the buses for the delivery dinner. Heading away from Boeing Field (soon to return though) and heading for Seattle Center and Chihuly Gardens.
The delivery dinner was held at the Chihuly Garden and Glass in the shadow of the Space Needle. Photo by Mal Muir / AirlineReporter.com.
The dinner was a relaxed, fine evening with a menu that was focused on local, seasonal produce, plenty of fine wine and drinks and some relaxing and mingling by the guests. This was the culmination of so much hard work and effort by so many people who worked tirelessly to get to this day that they were all in the mood to celebrate and honor as well some of those who made huge efforts into getting this aircraft to this point.
The night drew to a close with many tired heads as we were bussed back to respective hotels. The journey was only just beginning for me, but for some, tomorrow would show the end of a journey that had begun five years earlier when Qatar Airways signed the contract for their first of 60 787s.
Stay tuned for the rest of Malcolm’s adventure as he flies in Business Class on Qatar Airway’s first 787 Dreamliner to Doha.
||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
Celebrating the official handover to Qatar Airways of its first 787 Dreamliner in Seattle are, from right: Qatar’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al-Rumaihi; Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker; and Boeing Commercial President and CEO Ray Conner. Photo from Qatar Airways.
Last night, Qatar Airways officially took delivery of their first Boeing 787 Dreamliner and are scheduled to fly the aircraft to Doha at about 1:10pm PST today from Boeing Field (BFI).
Follow along with Malcolm Muir (@bigmalx), AirlineReporter.com Correspondent, as he takes the 13.5 flight. The beauty is that their 787 is already configured with WiFi from OnAir, so experience the flight live via Malcolm’s Twitter, on FlightAware.com and the #Qatar787 hashtag.
BONUS: My Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner Interior Tour at Farnborough
Over the next few months Qatar Airways will launch 787 service on a number of new routes, including Belgrade, Serbia (November 20); 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).
Qatar Airways is the first middle east airline to take delivery of the 787.
It has been a long while since I have made a new post highlighting the many airline liveries we have now seen on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. These are all the liveries we have physically seen on the Dreamliner, so no computer composite images here:
We got to see United’s livery on the 787 for the first time yesterday. Image from United’s livestream.
Ethiopian Boeing 787 Dreamliner (ET-AOQ) taken in July 2012 by Tony Rodgers (aka Moonm) at Paine Field.
A big thanks to Tony Rodgers (moonm) for allowing me to use his Ethiopian 787 photo.
Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner seen at Farnborough in July 2012.
Japan Airlines (JAL) Boeing 787 Dreamliner taken in March 2012 at Paine Field.
JAL’s old livery on the 787 Dreamliner. Image by The Boeing Company.
ANA’s delivery livery, that showed up on the first two of their 787 Dreamliners. Taken at Paine Field.
ANA’s modified Dreamliner livery with the “787” on the side. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren.
The older ANA livery before the “787” was added to the side. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren.
Air India Boeing 787 taking off from Paine Field. Image by The Boeing Company.
China Southern’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Royal Air Maroc Dreamliner at Paine Field.
ZA003 at the Doha International Airport for the Dreamliner World Tour. Image by The Boeing Company.
ZA006 shows off the Dreamliner “light” livery. Image by The Boeing Company.
And where it all became. The Dreamliner livery seen on ZA001 on her maiden flight. Image by The Boeing Company.
So which one is your favorite? Your least favorite?
Qatar Airways first Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the tarmac at the Farnborough Airshow.
At the Farnborough Air Show, Qatar Airways showed off their first Boeing 787 Dreamliner to an awestruck crowd.
When presenting the aircraft, Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker stated: “Qatar Airways has been highly anticipating the arrival of our Boeing 787 aircraft at the Farnborough Air Show, and are proud to share this milestone with the world during the unveiling of our new Dreamliner.”
Welcome on board — entering the Qatar Boeing 787 Dreamliner for the first time.
I was excited to check out this Dreamliner. I have previously been in a few of ANA’s Boeing 787s and in one of JAL’s. How would Qatar’s 787 stack up?
Although ANA’s and JAL’s products were nice, Qatar really took the interior of their 787 to the next level — especially with their Business Class product.
The Business Class seats on the aircraft are laid out in a 1-2-1 format, where the 232 economy seats are in a 3-3-3 format.
Business Class seats on the Qatar Boeing 787 is very impressive.
This is the first Dreamliner we have seen in a 3-3-3 economy set up, where the ones previously have been a 2-4-2 layout. I was actually surprised how spacious the economy cabin felt, realizing that there was an extra seat in each row. I only sat in an economy seat for about a minute and it seemed fine, but a ten hour flight might be a bit different.
Each seat has an iTouch touch remote control, which accesses over 1000 entertainment options.
The Qatar economy is set up in a 9 abreast seating, but felt roomy.
The interior was quite impressive, but seeing Qatar’s Dreamliner flying at the airshow was even more so. Historically, Boeing has not flown any of their aircraft at the airshow, so this was a special treat.
Qatar’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner takes off.
Living just minutes away from Paine Field (where the 787 is built) I have seen plenty of 787 Dreamliners flying, but never like this. The 787 looked natural flying above Farnborough, completing aggressive maneuvers, showing off. Sure, there were no Tex Johnston style rolls, but it was still inspiring none-the-less.
It looked great on the ground, but a bit better in the air.
The 787 left Farnborough early to return back to Seattle to have the final touches done before being delivered to Qatar by early September. The airline has 60 787s on order and Boeing is expecting to deliver five of them to Qatar before the end of the year.
After delivery, Qatar plans to use their first 787 flying between Doha to London Heathrow.
ADDITIONAL QATAR AIRWAYS BOEING 787 PHOTOS (even more on Flickr):