(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Qatar Airways chief executive officer Akbar al Baker has announced the airline's expansion plans on the opening day of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) “ the Middle East's premier travel show held in Dubai every year.
During a packed press conference at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Baker gave Middle East and international media an update on the newly opened Hamad International Airport and the airline's highly anticipated arrival of its first Airbus A380-800 early June, the first of 13 such aircraft on order.
The airline's new A380 luxury first class seats are a key feature on its exhibition stand at ATM this week, providing travel professionals from around the world with an opportunity to sample the seats and amenities.
Featuring a tri-class configuration of seating in first, business and economy, over two decks, the A380 is the largest passenger jet in the world and will provide a superior traveller experience to the airline's customers. ''Qatar Airways is making news yet again with the newly opened Hamad International Airport and the anticipated arrival of the airline's first A380 early next month.
This is indeed an exciting year and a new chapter for Qatar Airways as we will move our entire hub operations to Hamad International Airport on May 27,'' Baker said. ''We also eagerly await the delivery of the world's largest passenger jet and have no doubts that our new A380s will play a key role in our strategic expansion plans, and will help expand the onboard capacity “ in the full comfort and luxury that our passengers expect.''
The A380's new first class seat was introduced to the Middle East for the first time. The product offers a seat pitch just over 2.2m long and can be converted into a fully flat bed. In addition, the seat unit, the widest in the industry, allows for access to a 26'' screen with a variety of entertainment options. There is also a privacy screen, increased personal storage as well as the ability for two passengers to sit across from each other while dining.
Baker also showed glimpses of its amazingly designed A380 first and business class lounge and bathroom interiors to the Middle East audience. It is the Year of the Fleet' for Qatar Airways as the airline has plans to significantly expand its fleet with 300 additional aircraft, worth more than US60bn, on order including, 80 Airbus A350s, 13 Airbus A330 freighters, 60 Boeing 787s, 13 Boeing 777s (including freighters), 50 Boeing 777x, 80 Airbus A320s Neos and 13 Airbus A380-800s. Qatar Airways is also the first Airbus customer to receive the newly-launched Airbus A350 long-range, twin-engine, widebodie