“The A380 that we are introducing is not just any A380; we have completely designed every element, giving it a signature touch that has never been seen before on board.”
The airline will debut A380 services on one of its frequencies on the Doha–London route from October, followed by Paris Charles De Gaulle shortly thereafter.
The 517-seat aircraft is spread across twin decks in a tri-class configuration of 8 seats in first class, 48 seats in business class and 461 in economy class.
The first class seats feature a 90-inch pitch with a fully flat bed.
Business class seats feature a pitch of 52 inches which also recline to fully flat beds.
Economy class passengers benefit from the most spacious A380 arrangement flying in the skies, with a pitch of 32 inches spread in a 10-seats-across layout.
The premium cabin is also fitted with multiple bespoke elements such as luxe finishings and tailor-made fabrics designed exclusively for the airline.
In-flight entertainment on board is state-of-the-art using the Thales mainframe Top Series Avant system with features such as an Android open platform with intuitive swipe functions and customised HD monitors of up to 26 inches in first class.
The airline currently operates a mixed fleet of the Airbus family of aircraft, a large contingent being the single-aisle A320s, and also a mixed range of A330s and A340s.
“Leading carrier Qatar Airways aims for the best, and we are proud our A380 is an essential ingredient in their strategy to show off their excellence and hospitality, connecting the world,” said Airbus president and CEO Fabrice Brégier.
Qatar Airways is preparing to take delivery of four more A380s before the end of this year.
Qatar Airways said it may buy more of Airbus Group NV's A380 super jumbos, a rare bright spot for the European plane maker as it tries to shed the jet's image as a commercial flop.
Qatar Airways, which will start flying the A380 next month from its Doha hub to London Heathrow, has ordered 10 A380s and has options for three more. "There is a possibility we will order even more," Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said in an interview as he received the first of the super jumbos. The airline's network could accommodate 20 to 25 of the aircraft, he said.
The pipeline beyond Qatar is thin, however. Virgin Atlantic Airways, a future customer, has said it is unlikely to take the plane and Air France-KLM chief financial officer Pierre-François Riolacci said the carrier wouldn't take its last two A380s, instead introducing Airbus's A350 twin-engine long-range jet.
Buyers worry that they won't be able to sell sufficient seats on the super jumbo—which can take approximately 525 passengers. The plane has a list price of $414.4 million.
Fabrice Brégier, the head of the Airbus commercial airplane unit, said he is optimistic about garnering more orders. Carriers flying the jet fill more seats and get higher yields on A380 flights, he said.
Nevertheless, Airbus is far behind its forecast for A380 sales despite the plane entering service during the busiest period ever for jet purchases as air travel has expanded globally. When Airbus launched the A380 in 2000, it projected 1,235 deliveries of jets in the size category—where its only competitor is the Boeing 747—since then, about 400 such planes have entered service.