Qatar Airways has resumed Boeing 787 Dreamliner services between Doha and London Heathrow after a worldwide grounding of the aircraft in January.
The Doha-based carrier was the first to launch Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights to the UK in December, and the return to service means it remains the only airline in the world to operate scheduled 787 flights to and from the United Kingdom.
Landing at London Heathrow at 11.19am local time yesterday, QR075 was the airline’s first Boeing 787 to resume flights to the capital. The aircraft returned to Doha a few hours later as flight QR076, one of the airline’s five daily services between the UK and the State of Qatar.
The first of the airline’s five Boeing 787 Dreamliners returned to service on the Doha – Dubai route on May 1. The airline will be gradually phasing in Boeing 787 flights over the next few weeks on long-haul routes such as Munich, Frankfurt and Zurich.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “The Doha – Heathrow route is one of our most popular international services, and so I’m thrilled that our Dreamliners are back in the skies, providing our passengers with an unparalleled level of service and comfort to and from the UK.
“I have always hailed the Dreamliner as the state-of-the-art aircraft destined to change the way people travel. After a setback that not only affected our own worldwide operations, but those of many carriers worldwide, we look forward to now deploying the Dreamliner on other key routes over the coming weeks.”
Qatar Airways UK Country Manager Richard Oliver said: “We are absolutely delighted to be back in the air with the Boeing 787s in the UK providing our passengers with a unique travel experience.
“With our Heathrow operations going back up to five flights a day following the re-introduction of the Dreamliner on the London route, we fly to our Doha hub and offer passengers a raft of excellent connections to cities across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia.”
Made up of composite materials, the 787 Dreamliner is lighter and more fuel efficient than any comparable aircraft of its size and range.
Qatar Airways has 254 custom-made seats across its 787 Business and Economy Class cabins with specially designed interiors. Business Class is configured 1–2–1 with 22 seats, while Economy has 232 seats in a 3–3–3 layout.
The airline’s 787s are the world’s first fully connected Dreamliners with wireless facilities for passengers to remain in touch with friends and colleagues on the ground through the internet and SMS mobile texting across both the Business and Economy cabins.
Unique features of the 787 Dreamliners include larger windows, reduced cabin noise and cleaner cabin air.
Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 16 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 124 aircraft to 126 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and The Americas.
Qatar Airways has so far launched four destinations this year – Gassim (Saudi Arabia), Najaf (Iraq), Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and Chicago (USA).
Over the next few weeks and months, the network will grow further with Salalah, Oman (May 22), Basra and Sulaymaniyah (Iraq on June 3 and August 20 respectively), Chengdu, China (September 3) and recently-announced new routes of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (September 18), Clark International Airport, Philippines (October 28) and Philadelphia, USA (2 April 2014).