Photo: Qatar Airways
Photo: Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways has celebrated the delivery of it's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner at a special ceremony held at the US aircraft manufacturer's Seattle headquarters.

A Boeing hangar was the fitting venue for the official handover, which was watched by scores of airline management, Boeing executives and both local and international media. Guest of honour was Qatar's Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Mohamed Bin Abdulla Al-Rumaihi.

The delivery marks a milestone in Middle East aviation with Qatar Airways becoming the first airline from the region to take delivery of the 787. The Doha-based carrier has 60 Dreamliners on order with deliveries planned over the next few weeks, months and years.

Space, comfort and luxury are key features of the aircraft with Qatar Airways having pushed the boundaries in air travel to create a unique onboard 787 travel experience. The seat design is revolutionary and proprietary to Qatar Airways, which worked closely with the manufacturer to have custom-made seats fitted on the aircraft.

The aircraft is also the world's first 787 to be fully connected with wireless facilities enabling all passengers in both business and economy cabins to remain connected with the ground through Wi-Fi and GSM telephony options. The fully interactive inflight entertainment system offers more than 1,000 video and audio options to every passenger.

Qatar Airways' new 787s feature a total of 254 seats in a two-class configuration of 22 in Business Class and 232 in Economy. Made from composite materials, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is the first mid-size airplane capable of flying long-range routes.

Media onboard Qatar Airways' first 787 tour the aircraft in Seattle on the eve of its departure for the airline's Doha hub as CEO Akbar Al Baker looks on. Photo: Qatar Airways.
With a 1–2–1 configuration in Business Class, the layout features two less seats than competitors on conventional wide body aircraft, more typical of a First Class cabin where each passenger is assured of direct aisle access. The seats have been designed exclusively for Qatar Airways.

In Economy Class, configured 3–3–3, the Recaro-produced seats embody the very latest in design technology and materials assuring all passengers have a high degree comfort and personal space. Featuring one less seat per row than competitors on other wide body aircraft, the Economy seats promise to offer a totally different travel experience.

A key feature of every seat is the award-winning touch screen Android technology control units, where passengers are able to navigate through a truly interactive system, offering more than 1,000 movie, TV programmes, music and gaming entertainment options in a sophisticated and user friendly way, just like the latest smart phones.

The touch-screen control unit has a unique dual screen interface allowing passengers to play games on their handheld device while enjoying a movie on their personal screen.

Mood lighting throughout the aircraft helps passengers adjust their body clocks according to the change in time zones as lighting is automatically altered during the flight.

Upon entering service, Qatar Airways' first 787 will initially operate with commercial passengers on flights to Dubai to familiarise crew of the aircraft before making its maiden long-haul commercial flight between Doha and London Heathrow next month. As more Dreamliners join the fleet, they will be deployed on other key routes, including Zurich, Delhi and Frankfurt.

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