Hot on the proverbial heels of the first A350-1000 flight to Australia last month, a second airline has now started regular flights using the largest model of Airbus’ cutting-edge aircraft.
Qatar Airways’ A350-1000 had its debut on its Doha-Sydney-Canberra route on Friday, touching down at 6am at Sydney Airport before going on to Canberra.
The arrival came less than a week after Cathay Pacific became the first airline to bring the A350-1000 to Australia, launching the plane on its Hong Kong-Melbourne and Hong Kong-Perth routes.
Qatar Airways A350-1000 features two classes, with 281 economy seats and 46 ‘QSuites’ in business class. The plane replaces a Boeing 777 on the route, which offered 312 economy seats and 42 QSuites.
The A350 is Airbus’ chief rival to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, but unlike the Dreamliner, which has a body composed primarily of carbon fibre, the A350 uses a combination of materials, including plastic reinforced by carbon fibre, along with titanium and aluminium alloys.
More than half of the aircraft is made of lightweight composite materials, helping reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
Qatar Airways was the launch customer for the A350-1000, with the aircraft’s first commercial flight taking off on the Doha-London route in February last year.
Qatar Airways cleaned up at this year’s World Airline Awards, winning Airline of the Year for the fifth time, as well as best business class. The airline will also put the A350-1000 on its Adelaide-Doha route from March next year.
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