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Qatar Airways A380 makes Doha debut.

The world’s largest passenger aircraft was officially welcomed into the Qatar Airways fleet yesterday, during a ceremony full of pomp and circumstance.

The national carrier’s first A380 landed at Hamad International Airport around 5pm, following its first official flight from an Airbus facility in Hamburg.

The airline’s super-jumbo launch comes six years after Qatar Airways placed its first order for the plane, and some four months after the airline was originally scheduled to receive its first three A380s.

Al Baker declined to comment on how much the airline paid for the planes, but said the list price for an A380 is $380 million.

The newly launched aircraft will conduct training flights for the next 15 days, and the first plane will begin flying to London Heathrow on Oct. 10.

Flights to Paris are expected to begin shortly after that. No other routes have been announced, but Al Baker previously told Doha News that Doha-New York on the A380 is also in the works.

Qatar Airways currently has nine more of the planes on order, and three additional A380 options.

All photos by Chantelle D’mello




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