Quite simply she is the best commercial aircraft flying today crammed with technology for the pilots and comfort plus for the passengers.
She is the Airbus A350 and Qatar Airways has the world’s largest fleet with 52, which has enabled the airline to fly through the pandemic carrying home to loved ones millions of stranded passengers.
Born as Airbus’s competitor to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the A350 has also become a dream machine with Qatar Airways being a major influence on the design
The A350 fits perfectly between the slightly smaller 787 and the larger 777-300ER and she is the ultimate Airbus aircraft that incorporates all the lessons of the last 50 years since Airbus was formed.
The extra width of the cabin and very large windows results in an outstanding cabin that has the widest seats for passengers in all cabins.
The A350 also has the quietest cabin of any twin-aisle aircraft that includes a draft-free air circulation system resulting in a low ambient cabin noise level for a more peaceful and healthier journey.
The A350 series is made of 53 percent composite material, which because of its much lower weight – but extra strength – allows for lower fuel consumption and carbon emissions per passenger.
The composite structure, combined with other design and engine technologies gives the A350 fuel consumption per passenger 25 percent lower than the aircraft it replaces.
That means 25 percent less CO2.
And Qatar Airways passengers can offset their CO2 emissions with the airline’s Carbon Offset Program.
Compared to the Airbus A380 the savings are even more dramatic with the giant super jumbo emitting 95 percent more CO2 per block hour than the A350 on some long-range routes such as Doha to Melbourne.
Commenting on the airline’s commitment to travelers and green aircraft Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “As one of the only airlines to continue taking delivery of new aircraft at this time, our strategic investment in modern, fuel-efficient twin-engine aircraft has enabled us to continue flying taking over 2.3 million people home on more than 37,000 flights since the start of the pandemic.
“Due to COVID-19’s impact on travel demand, we will continue to fly greener and smarter by keeping our fleet of Airbus A380 grounded, as it is not commercially or environmentally justifiable to operate such a large aircraft in the current market.”
And the savings on the A350 don’t end there as the aircraft requires 40 percent less maintenance because it is made of composite material, titanium, and modern aluminum alloys and which result in an airframe that is corrosion and fatigue-free.
And passengers on the A350 arrive fatigue-free because of a combination of the composite fuselage and state-of-the-art HEPA filters.
The composite fuselage, with its much greater strength, means airlines can lower the cabin altitude from the typical 8000ft to 6000ft which eliminates mild altitude sickness which impacts a few passengers.
And because the fuselage doesn’t corrode the A350 a higher humidity level is possible eliminating that “dried out feeling.”
The HEPA filters, part of the A350’s air purification system, were developed to help eliminate airborne particulates such as dust, alcohol and perfume fumes, allergens, fungi, bacteria, and viruses from the air.
The result is an environment that is operating theatre clean.
The A350 comes in two models the -900 and -1000 and Qatar Airways has them both. Many of the A350-900s have 36 of the new award-winning Qsuites and 247 economy seats and in the larger -1000 model, all have 46 Qsuites and 281 economy seats.
From Australia, Qatar Airways flies the A350 from Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth, and throughout its vast network that now extends to over 100 cities across the globe.