Qatar Airways recently received the first Boeing 777-Extended Range, which arrived direct from Seattle and carried executive members of the airline, Boeing executives, and members of the American press. The new aircraft was received with the traditional water arch and the arrival was followed by a press conference where managing director of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, and vice president of sales for Boeing in the Middle East, Lee Monson, were present.
The new aircraft is the first of 32 Boeing 777’s that Qatar Airways has ordered. Qatar Airways has confirmed orders for 14 Boeing 777-300 ER’s, six 777-200LR’s and seven 777-200F’s with the option for an additional five Boeing 777’s. It is anticipated that the orders will be completed by 2012.
In November 2007, Qatar enhanced its relationship with Boeing and ordered 30 Boeing 787’s with the option of an additional 30 aircraft. The company claims to be the only Middle Eastern carrier to fly both Boeing 777’s and Boeing 787’s.
The 335-seat aircraft has 42 first-class seats in a 2-2-2 formation. Every one of the seats offers 78 inches of personal space and a personal entertainment system of 15,4 inches. Economy has 293 seats in a 3-3-3 formation, with personal space of 32 inches and a personal entertainment system of 10,6 inches. Every seat in both first class and economy has a power outlet for laptops.
Mr. Al Baker said: “The arrival of the first Boeing 777 that carries the colors of Qatar Airways marks the beginning of a fruitful relationship between our airline and one of the largest aircraft manufacturers in the world.”
He added, “The Boeing 777 can fly for 16 hours without stopping and offers Qatar Airways the possibility of international coverage, connecting Doha with anywhere in the world.” The managing director concluded, “Our first Boeing will be used for the Doha-Washington route beginning this month after we receive our second Boeing 777, and until then, the aircraft will be used for selected flights within the Middle East.”