Sunday 20 October 2019

Dublin in running for new super jet - Qatar chief

Qatar Airways' A350-1000
Qatar Airways' A350-1000

Fearghal O’Connor

Qatar Airways could expand its Dublin to Doha air service and hopes to put its new, ultra-modern Airbus A350 aircraft on the route, chief executive Akbar Al Baker has told the Sunday Independent.

Al Baker was speaking at the handover to the airline by Airbus in Toulouse of the first A350-1000, a new extra-long version of the jet that features double beds for passengers in business class.

Asked if Qatar is considering expanding to a double daily service and could Dublin be served by the new A350 aircraft rather than the current smaller Boeing 787, Al Baker responded: "Yes. Yes. Yes. As we start to get more A350s, a lot of those routes will be replaced with the A350-900 or the A350-1000."

He said the Dublin route was "certainly" one of those it will consider for the new jet.

Qatar launched its Dublin service last summer, adding to an increasingly competitive long-haul eastbound environment out of Ireland, with airlines such as Emirates, Etihad, Ethiopian and Turkish Airlines.

The new route also came against the backdrop of an ongoing political blockade of Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and others, that has since pushed the airline into a loss.

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