Qatari national carrier, Qatar Airways has announced that Philadelphia will be the first destination the airline will fly to in the USA with its A350 XWB aircraft.
The airline plans to operate the state-of-the-art aircraft on its daily service from Doha’s International Airport to Philadelphia Airport from January 1, 2016.
The daily flight is currently operated by a Boeing 777-200LR, which departs Doha at 01:05am, arriving into Pennsylvania’s largest city at 07:30am. The return flight departs Philadelphia at 10:15am, arriving back into Doha at 06:50am (+1 day).
“We are very pleased to announce the launch of our first A350 service to the United States. Philadelphia is the sixth largest metropolitan area in the USA and is an important international business hub that is home to seven Fortune 1000 companies,” said Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive.
The move will allow Qatar Airways to maximise the A350’s efficiency and performance, while allowing its US passengers the first opportunity to try the world’s newest aircraft.
From March 1, 2016 and March 16, 2016, the A350 will fly on one daily flight to both New York and Boston respectively, meaning three of the airline’s US destinations will be served by the A350 by the end of March next year.
“With the launch of the new A350 service from January 1 next year, Qatar Airways will be further strengthening its position in Philadelphia and the U.S. overall as an airline offering passengers a world-class travel experience,” added Mr Al Baker.
The introduction of the A350 on the daily flights between the two cities will increase capacity by 9 percent in comparison to the 777-200LR, increasing seats from 259 to 283.
Qatar Airways’ A350s feature 36 seats in Business Class in a 1-2-1 configuration, featuring 80-inch fully flat horizontal beds, and a 247 seating capacity in Economy Class in a 3-3-3 layout.
The airline has recently announced expansion into the US, adding flights to Atlanta, Boston and Los Angeles, while increasing frequency between Doha and New York.
Qatar Airways currently operates 47 passenger flights a week between the United States and Doha – daily from New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Dallas/Fort Worth, and five flights a week from Miami.