Qatar Airways now has over 50 Airbus A350s in its fleet, he proudly announced via Twitter. The airline is the first customer to receive the A350 back in 2015 and has since acquired more than 50 (a combination of the A350-900 and A350-1000s).
Qatar Airways celebrates 50+ A350 in the sky
After delivering three more A350s this October, Qatar Airways has taken over its A350 fleet across the 50-aircraft limit. The airline now has a total of 52 Airbus A350 aircraft, giving it the joint largest fleet of A350s in the world, along with Singapore Airlines. However, Qatar Airways is unique in that it operates both the A350-900 (34 in total) and the longer A350-1000 (18 in total).
The wide A350 is one of the more successful programs in Airbus history. Launched in the early 2000s, the A350 XWB (eXtra Wide Body) was conceived as a competitor to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Airbus launched the aircraft in 2015, and Qatar Airways provided the honor of being its customer. Airbus has received a total of 930 orders for A350 family aircraft and is closing 400 deliveries.
– Qatar Airways (@qatarairways) December 25, 2020
Qatar mixed fleet of Airbus and Boeing aircraft
Although Qatar Airways ’fleet has historically been dominated by Boeing aircraft, Airbus aircraft have caught up with it. According to Planespotters.net, the airline has 51 active A350s and one parked. Along with other Airbus aircraft, Qatar Airways has a total of 117 Airbus aircraft – this also includes 10 A380s and 29 A320s. Of his 50+ A350s, most were purchased on a rental basis. However, the airline is gradually increasing its A350 number in ownership as it delivers new aircraft fresh from the assembly line.
The Boeing aircraft carrier fleet now stands at exactly the same figure – 117 Boeing aircraft. With 78 Boeing 777 aircraft, two 747 and 37 787 Dreamliner models, the airline also has several custom Boeing aircraft. It seems that Qatar Airways will continue with a diverse combination of fleets as it has outstanding orders for both Airbus and Boeing aircraft. These include 60 Boeing 777x aircraft and 23 787-9 Dreamliners, along with 50 Airbus A321neos and over 40 A350s.
There is another A350 on request
Qatar Airways still has a number of excellent A350 orders with Airbus. According to FlightGlobal, the airline is still expecting another 42 A350-1000, although both sides have recently reached an agreement to delay delivery. The carrier currently has 18 A350-1000s active in its fleet – further deliveries of its -1000 fleet would eclipse its -900 fleet, which currently stands at 34.
With the delayed delivery of its A350s, Qatar Airways has delayed the arrival of 50 A321neos due to the COVID pandemic. Several other prominent A350 operators, including Cathay Pacific and Finnair, have also delayed delivery in these uncertain times.
Where is the A350 on your list of favorite aircraft? Let us know in the comments.