One hundred passengers joined Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker for the delivery flight of their 787 from Seattle to Doha on November 17. I am in no way envious! Qatar are the Middle Eastern launch customer for the 787 having ordered 60 of the planes - 30 firm with options for 30 more. Qatar is rated a five star airline and has been nominated airline of the year twice by Skytrax. They are the newest entrant to One World. I have yet to fly them.
Qatar Airways had refused to take delivery of the first five of their 787s until a defects within the Dreamliner GE designed GEnx engines, had been rectified. General Electric Co. told aircraft operators in September to make another round of inspections on engines installed on the 787 and newer 747 models following an engine failure on a Boeing freighter aircraft resulted in an aborted takeoff in Shanghai in September. This follows a failure in July when an engine on a jet being tested before delivery in South Carolina failed due to cracking in the engine’s fan shaft.
I guess the engine issues have been resolved because Qatar’s 787 commenced commercial service on selected Doha – Dubai flights on November 20 to familiarise flight crews with the aircraft. It will later be deployed long-haul on one of the five daily London Heathrow services, followed by Zurich, Frankfurt and Delhi. It is interesting how a big fuss was made by Qatar about the engine failures but nothing was said about the fixes!
The Qatar 787 has 254 seats in a two-class layout:
- 22 seats in Business Class in a 1-2-1 configuration. Width: 22″ Pitch: 80″
- 232 seats in Economy Class: 3-3-3. Width: 16.9″ Pitch: 32″
This compares to Ethiopians’ 270 passengers which is the most squeezy Boeing 787. ANA only has 158 seats on board, by comparison.
Each seat is equipped with AVOD entertainment system with USB, MP3 and laptop power outlets. Wifi and GSM will be available to all passengers during flights. Tv Screens are 10.6″ in Economy and 17″ in Business.
Boeing now has previously delivered 29 787s to seven customers (ANA, JAL, LAN, Ethiopian, Air India, United and LOT).
My Pinterest 787 Board: http://pinterest.com/martinjcowling/the-787/