Qatar Airways, as the global launch customer for the A350 XWB, became the first airline to operate the world’s newest aircraft to Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region on Monday, with the inaugural A350 XWB service arriving in Singapore Changi Airport.
Upon touching down at Singapore Changi Airport, QR944 was greeted by a traditional water cannon salute, a long-held tradition to welcome special flights or planes to an airport, and an exclusive welcome ceremony.
Marwan Koleilat, Qatar Airways’ chief commercial officer, speaking at the welcome ceremony held at Changi Airport, said: “The A350 XWB is the third and final major new aircraft in a decade and Qatar Airways is delighted to be the first global airline to fly this state-of-the-art aircraft into Singapore and Asia Pacific.
“Singapore is a key market for Qatar Airways and we remain committed to offering our Singapore-based passengers the best in-flight experience possible. With the A350 XWB, all 283 passengers can be assured of unprecedented levels of comfort across all classes when travelling to Doha and onwards to key destinations in Europe and the Americas.”
Following Frankfurt, Singapore is only the second route for the world’s newest aircraft for which Qatar Airways was a significant contributor to its design in partnership with aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, and engine manufacturer, Rolls-Royce.
The Doha-based airline currently operates a double-daily service to Singapore with the B787 Dreamliner and the aircraft will be progressively replaced by the next-generation A350 XWB. In addition, from later this summer, Qatar Airways will add an additional daily flight to Singapore, as part of its global expansion drive and to cater to the increase in passenger demand. All three daily flights will be operated using the A350 XWB by mid-August.
One of the fastest growing airlines in the world, Qatar Airways has experienced rapid growth in just 18 years of operation. Today it flies a modern fleet of 157 aircraft to 146 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.