At a delivery event in Toulouse, France; Airbus delivered the world’s first A350-1000 widebody airliner to their launch customer, Qatar Airways.
The aircraft is the first of 37 A350-1000s ordered by the carrier; it is the first ever Airbus aircraft fitted with the revolutionary new Qsuite Seats, which offer the first ever double bed in Business class. Qatar Airways is the world’s largest customer for the A350 XWB family with 76 aircraft on order and they are also the largest customer for the A350-1000.
Video (Highly Recommended)
The A350-1000 is Airbus’s latest and largest wide body in the twin-aisle category. The A350-1000 measures 243 feet from nose to tail, the longest fuselage of The Airbus A350 XWB family by a full 7-metres; the space for the premium cabin products is 40% larger than its smaller sibling the A350-900.
Qatar Airways configuration on the A350-1000 offers 44 additional seats. The A350-1000 features a modified wing trailing-edge, new six-wheel main landing gears and the more powerful Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines. Providing 97,000 lbs of thrust each, the engines differ from the XWB 84 model in that they deliver an extra 13,000lbs of thrust to carry the bigger jet.
- The A350-1000 is the largest twin engine Airbus ever made featuring new Rolls Royce Trent XWB-97 engines, each engine can generate 97,000 pounds of thrust.
- Airbus claims that the A350-1000 is the quietest twin-aisle cabin in the sky and has the lowest 'cabin altitude'
- The entire cabin air is renewed every two to three minutes and every window seat has an actual window.
Tour inside the Qatar Airways A350-1000
The A350-1000 cabin contains millions of ambient anti-jet lag LED lights; there are hospital-grade filters (with the entire cabin air renewed every two to three minutes) and it claims the lowest 'cabin altitude' on the market - 6,000ft. Scientists say that jet lag symptoms kick in at altitudes greater than 6,500ft; with the heart and lungs having to work overtime to supply oxygen to organs, which results in feelings of fatigue and shortness of breath.
The plane has a capacity of 327 passengers, 46 in Qsuite and 281 in economy.
QSuite - Business Class
The aircraft is also the first Airbus to feature Qatar’s Qsuite Business Class (It is the 16th plane overall to have the suites fitted; previously 15 B777-300/ER’s have been refitted into Qsuite)
The Q Suite layout is designed in such a way that, if passengers so desire, a double bed can be made out of the two middle suits, if travelling with a partner; the 4 middle seats can also be converted into a small meeting room, if travelling in a group.
By lowering the middle blinds, four people can join tables to make a one large one in the middle. By keeping the blinds on the sides up, a fully private meeting room is created.
I can recommend Qsuite on both aisles of the aircraft; A, B, J or K seats. These seats provide both window views and direct aisle access!Seat with odd number are rearward facing, seat with even number are forward facing. The best seat with engine view is 9A and 9K!
Seats in economy are 18 inches wide and have 32 inches of pitch (relatively roomy dimensions on a global industry scale) and are laid out in a typical 3-3-3 configuration; thanks to the slim line seats and clean feel to the aircraft, the cabin feels wide and spacious.
A large touch screen enabled TV, USB charge point, AC powerpoint and NFC reader are all present in every seat, along with a slimmer seat divider.
I had the good fortune to meet with Captain Konstantinos Iliakis again; he also flew the inaugural A350-900 flight of Qatar Airways, which was the first inaugural flight in the world, in January 2015.
A detailed cockpit tour of the A350-1000 can be found in my earlier video here.
Spectacular Light Show
A spectacular light show was shown during the Gala Dinner, celebrating the new sub-type delivery to commercial airline service at The Airbus Delivery Centre.
The next morning, we had an early start to board the brand new A350-1000 delivery ferry flight to Doha. Our departure time was 7:30am.
As other airlines use disposable tableware on delivery flights, to my surprise, Qatar Airways had brought in their own glassware and soft product. The amenity kit and menu even feature the A350-1000 on the cover. It was clear to see that a lot of details and arrangements had been considered and planned carefully by Qatar Airways!
We departed on-time with just 221 tons, out of a maximum take-off weight of 311 tons on the A350-1000. Flying time to Doha was 6 hours 8 minutes.
Once in the air, I am back to my comfort zone and started non-stop clicking and filming! 🙂
The advantage of the delivery ferry flight is you can get familiar with the new cabin and product; I was able to test out many of the features on offer.
In Business Class, as mentioned earlier, there is a total of 46 private Qsuites spanning across 2 cabins. The forward cabin has 38 Qsuite Seats and the aft cabin, which seems more private, contains only 8.
Economy Class occupies remaining 2 cabins with total of 281 seats.
On Demand Fine Dining
Qatar Airways have a totally flexible dining policy in Business Class; it is on-demand for every passenger. You can have as much or as little as you want, at any time during the flight.
I tried out the special Qsuite snack platter, which consists of 6 items (Chicken Satay, Salmon Blini, Falafel, Shrimp and Choco cake) and 3 kinds of dipping sauce.
I am a huge fan of this platter concept, which currently is only available on Qsuite Business Class. It allowed me to have a sample of as many different foods on offer as possible.
On this flight, I was able to visit the crew rest area; this is located near the aft galley, accessible by stairs behind a door panel. There are a total of 8 crew bunks on the A350-1000.
Each lavatory feature automatic flush, with one touch, the toilet cover will close automatically and flush! You can see this on my video.
Qatar Airways also offer Rituals branded amenities in the Business Class lavs.
Meeting with His Excellency
During the flight, the media were given the opportunity to chat with the Group CEO of Qatar Airways, H.E. Akbar Al Baker. You can see my few minutes of fame on the video.
Spectacular flypass over Doha
Everyone on board was in for a special treat before our landing into Doha, Qatar.
We first did did 2 low passes over The Pearl in Doha, getting a good close up of the pearl shaped island, then we flew past Hamad International Airport (HIA) at only 1,000 feet above!
During the fly pass, the pilots also demonstrated the full engine power of the Trent XWB-97 on a go around (missed approach over HIA)
After we fly past the city skyline at 1,000 feet before a full landing into HIA.
On arrival, the A350-1000 was met by water cannon salute and large local media awaiting our arrival. I highly recommend you see the spectacular fly pass on my video.
The A350-1000 is a wonderful large twin engine Airbus plane! It was so quiet and provided extra comfort to the body during flying thanks to lower cabin altitude. I am so glad I was on this inaugural flight that has been written into the history of Airbus and Qatar Airways.
During the spectacular low fly pass and go around, it just reminded me why I love aviation so very much. I was totally immersed in the moment! The passion ran very high in my mind and my soul.
The aircraft will begin service on Saturday, February 24th, flying between Doha and London on QR015 and QR016. Schedule is subject to change and aircraft availability.