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Qatar Airways’ first Airbus A380 will make its commercial debut on October 10 as the flagship flight QR001 to London, airline CEO Akbar Al Baker revealed at the delivery ceremony for its first Airbus A380 in Hamburg.
Paris will also see a superjumbo within three weeks of the London inaugural, Baker said, although he refused to confirm New York as the third city on the A380 route map.
The Gulf carrier will have four A380s in its fleet by the end of this year, with six more to follow plus options to buy a further three of the double-decker jets.
Qatar expected to begin flying the A380 from June this year, but subsequently refused to accept the aircraft due to problems with the interior finish.
However, Al Baker was eager to avoid blaming Airbus for the delays, despite previously saying he would seek compensation from the aircraft manufacturer.
“The delays are not from Airbus, the delay was caused by Qatar because of our very stringent demand for additional quality” Al Bakar told journalists at the Hamburg press conference.
Al Baker also took a shot at Gulf neighbour and competitor Etihad, saying that in his new A380s “we have no Residence, no suites and no butlers, but we have class – and that’s what the whole world has been waiting in anticipation to see today.”
More on the Qatar Airways A380
- Photo tour: Inside Qatar’s Airbus A380 first, business class
- Qatar swaps first class for ‘revolutionary business class’
- Airbus A380 ‘bar wars’: Qatar, Emirates and Etihad
David Flynn is visiting Hamburg as a guest of Airbus.
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