Qatar Airways became the first airline to fly the A350 to the US with the ferry flight leaving Hamad International Airport on the morning of 8 December, landing at JFK International later in the same day. Qatar Airways was the global launch carrier of the A350 and is the first to fly the aircraft to three continents; the airline’s fleet of seven A350s currently flies twice a day to Frankfurt, daily to Munich and three times a day to Singapore from Doha.
An eighth A350 will join the fleet before the end of the year and is scheduled to fly daily to Philadelphia from 1 January 2016. As further A350s join the fleet throughout 2016 the new-generation aircraft will be put on routes to Boston launching on 16 March and the new second daily flight to New York from 1 April, followed by Adelaide, Australia from 2 May.
“We are proud to be the first commercial airline to land the Airbus A350 in the United States,” said Qatar Airways group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker. “As the global launch customer of this new-generation aircraft, we are excited to introduce it to the American market, where we will commence commercial flights from 1 January 2016 on our route from Philadelphia.”
As part of its on-going expansion plans, Qatar Airways will also launch further destinations to North America in 2016. Currently flying to eight key locations – Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Houston, Montreal, New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC – the airline will commence flights to Los Angeles in January, Boston in March and Atlanta in June.