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Qatar Airways takes delivery of its first Airbus A380 © Airbus/C. Brinkmann

Qatar Airways takes delivery of its first Airbus A380

World’s flagship aircraft was handed over to the fast-growing Gulf airline in Hamburg.

In the presence of His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO, the airline took delivery of the first of its ten Airbus A380 aircraft on order.The delivery marks the beginning of a new chapter for Qatar Airways, as it pushes boundaries and expands its operations.

Qatar Airways’ A380 will accommodate a total of 517 people – 461 in Economy, 48 in Business and eight in First Class, featuring the widest first-class seats in the industry. The aircraft has two full-length passenger decks – First and Business Class cabins will both be located on the aircraft’s upper deck, along with a special lounge area for premium passengers. Qatar Airways is the twelveth world class carrier to fly the A380. The airline’s first A380 will make its debut on the popular London Heathrow route, from Hamad International in Doha, followed by Paris Charles de Gaulle.

Favourite with passengers and airlines

With 318 orders so far by 19 customers the A380 captures 90 percent of the Very Large Aircraft market. With the delivery today, the global A380 fleet mounts up to 142 aircraft, having accumulated over 1.5 million flight hours on some 180,000 commercial flights. To date over 65 million passengers have already enjoyed the unique experience of flying on board an A380. Every four minutes, an A380 either takes off or lands at one of the 41 airports where it operates today and the network is constantly growing.

Delivery hub for the Middle East

Hamburg has been the delivery centre of the A380 for customers in the Middle East since 2008. Only a few week after the inauguration of the “Delivery Center Jürgen Thomas”, named after the “father” of the A380, the first A380 had been being delivered to the Arab airline Emirates. Meanwhile, Emirates is operating 50 A380s, with the last mega-liner delivered to the Dubai carrier in July 2014. Hamburg is also the place where the section assembly, interior fitting and painting of the A380 take place.

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