Qatar Airways brings Airbus A350 to Adelaide

By Chris Chamberlin, May 3 2016
Qatar Airways brings Airbus A350 to Adelaide

Qantas partner Qatar Airways kicks off its Doha-Adelaide flights today, bringing the advanced Airbus A350-900 to the South Australian capital.

But it’s more than just another pin in Qatar’s growing network map: the route also marks Australia’s very first Airbus A350 commercial service, ahead of selected Thai Airways Melbourne-Bangkok flights from July 1 2016.

The fuel-efficient jet offers business class travellers 36 spacious and fully-flat beds en route to Doha…

… each stretching to 80 inches or 203cm when in bed mode and offering a 17-inch, high definition personal video screen.

You’ll also find a walk-up bar in the centre of the business class cabin: an almost-unique feature for an aircraft of this size with neighbouring rivals Emirates and Etihad skipping the feature on all but their flagship Airbus A380 aircraft.

Read: Airbus A380 ‘bar wars’: Qatar, Emirates and Etihad

Qatar Airways’ inaugural Doha-Adelaide flight, QR914, touches down at 4:25pm on Tuesday May 3 after pushing back at 9:35pm in Doha yesterday evening, and continues as a 5pm arrival on future dates as a daily service.

On the return, flight QR915 is wheels-up at 9:25pm in Adelaide for an arrival into the Qatari capital at 4:50am the following morning: allowing for onward connections to Europe and the UK.

Australia has been a major point of expansion for Qatar Airways, which joined the global Oneworld airline alliance in late 2013 and launched Sydney-Doha flights in March 2016, with plans to upgrade the route’s Boeing 777 to an Airbus A380 from June.

Also on the agenda this year are more Airbus A350 flights for the region with fellow Oneworld partner Cathay Pacific earmarking the next-gen jet for its existing Hong Kong-Auckland route from the second half of 2016.

Qantas Frequent Flyer members can earn both points and status credits when flying with Qatar Airways and also Cathay Pacific on eligible fares, with the Roo recently boosting your haul of status credits on Qatar’s Australian services.

Also browse: Qatar Airways Airbus A350 photo tour

Chris Chamberlin is visiting Adelaide as a guest of Qatar Airways.

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

20 Apr 2015

Total posts 21

Woohoo! Goodbye, SQ!

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

13 Dec 2014

Total posts 81

Shouldn't that be goodbye EK? They compete directly with QR on the same route. Besides, when SQ introduces their A350s to Aus (over the coming years) will that change? Curious.

Cheers

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

"They compete directly with QR on the same route."

Not true unless U believe ADL->DXB->wherever vs ADL->DOH->wherever are the same route.  On the other hand, I can understand QR and EK compete on SIMILAR routes in SIMILAR mkts.  Similar but not "the same".  Why?

a) I didn't bother to look up the traffic statistics but it's common knowledge that historically, much much more OD traffic occur between AU and Dubai than AU and Doha.  In effect, many more folks fm AU visit /work in Dubai than Doha making it easier for EK to support hi-frequency than QR can.

b) If U connect @ DOH, your nex QR flight may be on a 320 family even if flying to EU.  Conversely, if U connect @ DXB, your nex EK flight is always a widebody.  In effect, there's a chance of experiencing narrowbody cabin std if flying with QR but never with EK.

"Besides, when SQ introduces their A350s to Aus...will that change?"

Good question.  It may or it may not but the longhaul J designs already in service on 359 @ both QR and SQ(ausbt.com.au already gave a few thorough reviews mths ago) probably provides a clue.....they are similar in many design aspects/stds.  1 thing for sure though:  SQ will NOT enjoy 1st mover advantage(Per Product Marketing 101) re 350 intro @ least in the ADL mkt.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

13 Dec 2014

Total posts 81

I wasn't specific. Just generalising. Basically in the direction of the Middle East and Europe.

As you said it will all depend on aircraft, timings and destinations, etc.

Cheers

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

11 Mar 2015

Total posts 191

even if the connecting flight is a 320 most of them got fully flat bed and many routes they use 787 beside for a 5-6 hours flight there is hardly any need for a bed.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

"if the connecting flight is a 320 most of them got fully flat bed.."

Very true if we are talking about J cabin.  But if talking about J on a QR 320 family, it also means exclusive boarding access for premium pax will be impossible which usually translates into a) pre-departure drink service interuptions and a few bumps & thumps to J seat by overzealous Y pax carrying lots of cabin bags accessing that single aisle......it's a scenario that will almost never happen to a premium pax departing on a widebody(Just 1 of a few little perks offered by widebody cabin std some premium pax usually take for granted /forgot they exist) fm a Gulf mega hub.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

11 Mar 2015

Total posts 191

well if you sit in the bigger business cabin on emirates the same applies on the 777 as economy passengers come through the cabin all the time.

11 Apr 2014

Total posts 14

Can't wait to fly this new route in a couple of weeks, particularly to see how the 350 stacks up against the dreamliner.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

"Can't wait to fly this new route in a couple of weeks, particularly to see how the 350 stacks up against the dreamliner."

In what class and against the 787 cabin of which carrier(e.g. QR's Y on 359 vs JQ's Y on 788 will be more a comparison of airline's cabin choices than purely stacking up 1 machine against another)?

If in J, practically no diff between 788 and 359 in QR fleet.  QR deploys the same seat design+layout on both types.  If U bring a measuring tape or precision laser measuring unit, U may detect aisle width /gap fm seat to window on 359 being 1-2inches wider than on 788.

If in Y(Not sure if a discussion of this is even allowed here because this website seems to focus on J travel), U can expect a tiny diff(If U can feel any at all) due to the max cabin width of a 350 is only 5inches wider than a 787.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 451

What? This is a perfect comparison if we're talking about JUST Qatar and the same class here - that's the whole point.

If the cabin is quieter.... etc etc.

Which lounge would QR use at ADL, bearing in mind the QF lounge is BEFORE immigration and that SQ is the ONLY carrier with a lounge after immigration?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1390

CX and MH use the QF lounge, so I would expect the same

That's a lousy arrangement for OW flyers. I hope they inform the relevant passengers at check in that the lounge is before immigration. Otherwise you're going to get a fair number of grumpy people in the holding pen.

Qatar Airways will use the Qantas lounge, which is after the first security checkpoint but before passport control and which is also used by Emirates in addition to Cathay Pacific and Malaysia Airlines.

Passport control! Of course - that is a much better word! 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Jul 2011

Total posts 184

The distance from the QPub to international security and then passport control is a couple of minutes walk, the queues inside security move quickly compared to some other airports. The service inside the QPub at that time of night is pretty good, with wait staff offering to gets drinks and bring food selections to patrons. 

AirNZ also use the QPub for their Koru Club and higher tier pax.

04 Oct 2011

Total posts 25

I was on this flight yesterday and the A350 really is a brilliant aircraft. The cabin and seating are noticeably more spacious and the larger windows and streamlined overhead bins and passenger service units add to the airy feel of the cabin.

I have to say too that jet lag has been almost non-existent. To top it off, the Qatar on-board service was impeccable.

I think in some respects this will really challenge EK's daily ADL service on the 777.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

"cabin and seating are noticeably more spacious..."

In what class and compared against the cabin of which other type(s)?  E.g. if in J class, no diff in seat design+specs+layout  across 788 and 359 in QR fleet.

"...this will really challenge EK's daily ADL service on the 777."

In terms of current J product std, there is no competition between EK's 777 vs QR's 359/788.......QR is 1 full gen ahead of EK in this regard.

04 Oct 2011

Total posts 25

This was in economy. There is a massive diffference in space between the A350 and 787, both have 9 abreast seating in Y Class, but the seats and cabin of the A350 are both wider.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

"...massive difference in space between the A350 and 787.."

"massive"?  Really?  How so?  Your statement is technically only correct when we are comparing a 788 against say, a 359(Both in QR fleet).  But then that would be an apple vs orange comparison like saying a 77W is more spacious than a 359.

"both have 9 abreast seating in Y Class, but the seat and cabin of the A350 are both wider."

Technically correct but I'm extremely surprised U actually detected that diff unless U brought a measuring tape or precision laser measuring equipement along onboard for your comparison.  As I hv repeated many times on this website, diff in max cabin width 350 vs 787 is only 5inches(Check their tech  specs if U don't believe it).  Assuming equal aisle width, it's technically impossible for a Y seat on any 350 to be more than 0.56inch wider than one on any 787.  That's about a hair or 2 wider than the width of a common USB socket and yet U can still experience such diff as "massive"?

For the record, I regard both the 787 and 350 as EQUALLY  amazing machines.  But it's even more amazing that so many folks on this website still relentlessly subscribe to the myth /urban legend peddled by Airbus PR team+350 enthusiasts /787 haters about how Y on 350 is noticeably more spacious than on 787.  I guess for some, physical facts are inconvenient and it's easier to just trust whatever Airbus PR team told them so that it will eventually become the truth if enough folks believe it....

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

13 Dec 2014

Total posts 81

To top it off, the Qatar on-board service was impeccable.

I wonder if you guessed why it was so? Their boss was on the flight (CEO Akbar Al Baker).

Cheers

04 Oct 2011

Total posts 25

To be fair, i also flew on a QR flight on my way over to Doha, the service on both flights was consistently excellent.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

13 Dec 2014

Total posts 81

Good to hear it was consistent. That's what we all want from any 5-star carrier.

Cheers

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 May 2016

Total posts 3

Staying at the Intercontinental in Adelaide and the red carpet is out at the moment for the Qatar shindig... seriously thinking of crashing for a glass of Champagne.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

It will be soon worth it to fly to Europe via Adelaide and Doha from Melbourne.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

11 Mar 2015

Total posts 191

finally a real competition or maybe not even competition to Emirates. Qatar is light years ahead of Emirates as far as business class is concerned not to mention they offer at least 1200 dollar cheaper fares for business class-both the catering and the comfort of the cabin layout is superb comparing the stone age version of Emirates same product-if they don't change their game they will loose customers big time-I'm surely dump them for Qatar.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

11 Mar 2015

Total posts 191

just wonder why these airlines of the one world  group,team up and have a proper business and first class lounge here in Adelaide and finally detach themselves from the mostly  domestic QF lounge which is only good for domestic business but nothing to accomodate international departures.

The food selection is just pathetic and non existent except some dyo sandwiches and tired salad material maybe an old all day bubbling soup-certainly not rockpool quality

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jun 2016

Total posts 9

Just travelled in J from adl to doh and it the A350 is a beautiful aircraft to fly on. We did have 6 hrs of very severe turbulence which was a bit disconcerting, but better to have been in business than down the back where it would have been worse. We chose the middle seats as two together but to be honest, we would have been closer having a single seat and then the aisle across from it. The Lounge in Doha was amazing and sorry QF you are going to have to up your game to compete!!

 


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