Qatar Airways first Middle East airline to get 787 Dreamliner
Nov. 13, 2012, Doha, Qatar - Doha-based carrier Qatar Airways has taken delivery of its first mid-size wide-body, twin-engine jet Boeing 787 Dreamliner, becoming the first airline in the Middle East to receive the aircraft.
It is also the first of 30 787 Dreamliners ordered and the 32nd Boeing aircraft for the airline.
Qatar Airways chief executive officer Akbar Al Baker said the investment to purchase the Dreamliner jets reflected the company's firm belief in its unrivalled capabilities and the value it would add to the carrier's fleet and network expansion strategy.
The airline plans to deploy the new Dreamliner on flights to Dubai, London Heathrow, Delhi and Zurich.
Qatar Airways currently operates flights to 120 destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.
The 787 Dreamliner is made of lightweight composite materials instead of aluminium in the fuselage and wings. It is capable of flying long-haul routes, and according to Boeing, uses 20 per cent less fuel and is less expensive to maintain than the rival aircraft in the segment.
The lighter 787 comprises 22 seats in business class and 232 in economy; it features improved lighting, larger windows, overhead bins, lower cabin altitude and upgraded ventilation systems.
To date, Boeing has delivered 35 Dreamliner jets to eight airlines.
Last week, Boeing increased the production rate of 787 variant from 3.5 airplanes a month to five.
Earlier this year, the Chicago-based aircraft manufacturer increased production rate from 2.5 to 3.5 a month and is planning to achieve a rate of ten per month by late-2013.