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The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani being shown Qatar Airways’ new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which arrived in Doha yesterday, by the airline’s CEO Akbar Al Baker.
DOHA: Qatar Airways’ first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner landed on Doha International Airport yesterday, marking a historic milestone for the national carrier becoming the first airline from the region to take delivery of the 787.
A total of 60 aircraft are on order for delivery in phases over the next three years, four of which would be delivered before year end, according to Chief Executive Officer, Akbar Al Baker, speaking at a press conference after a 13-hour flight from Seattle, the US west coast home of American aircraft manufacturer, Boeing.
He was joined by almost 100 passengers during the journey, including international media, senior management from Qatar Airways and Boeing and third party suppliers from companies involved in the 787 project.
Responding to a query, Al Baker said Qatar Airways is also interested in acquiring 787-10, a larger version of the Dreamliner being considered by Boeing as well as the 787-9 which is under development and to enter service late 2014.
“We have the opportunity to switch from the current to future variant to be offered by Boeing,” he said, adding they target 170 jetliners and nearly 170 destinations in the next three years.
Qatar Airways, he said, now has the youngest and the most technologically advanced fleet of aircraft in the skies and the acquisition of 787 proves Qatar Airways’ commitment in next generation aircraft.
“Comfort and space are the hallmark of the 787 but we have gone an extra mile to provide the highest standards of service excellence that people deserve,” he stressed.
The 254-seater 787-8 Dreamliner features specially designed interiors, spacious cabins, custom-made seats and the latest inflight technology across its Business and Economy Class. Furthermore, it boasts as the world’s first fully connected 787 with wireless facilities for passengers to remain in touch with their friends and loved ones on the ground. A striking feature of every seat throughout the aircraft is the award-winning touch screen Android system, where passengers are able to navigate through a truly interactive service offering more than 1,000 movie, TV programmes, music and gaming entertainment options in a sophisticated and user friendly way, just like the latest smart phones.
The touch-screen control unit has a unique dual screen interface allowing passengers to play games on their handheld device while enjoying a movie on their personal screen. Passengers are also able to be fully connected through Wi-Fi and GSM telephony, sending both text and MMS messages, with each seat equipped with USB, MP3 and other charger ports, including laptop power outlets. The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner is also complemented with a recently-introduced new inflight culinary menu being rolled out across all services. Four award-winning culinary ambassadors –Chef Ramzi Chwayri, Chef Vineet Bhatia, Chef Tom Aitkens and Chef Nobu Matsushisa – have joined forces with the Doha-based airline to create a new range of signature dishes.
In addition, dynamic mood lighting and the composite design of the Dreamliner with lighter materials will ensure passengers are less fatigued and more refreshed as the cabin pressure is 2,000 feet closer to ground level with an air purification system that is cleaner and healthier than many other aircraft.
The 787 will spend a few days positioned at Doha International Airport giving staff an opportunity to tour the aircraft before it enters commercial service for a few weeks on selected Doha – Dubai flights from November 20 and then deployed long-haul on one of the five daily London Heathrow services.