There is a very interesting article about Qatar Airways in this month’s copy of Flug Revue. Here are some of the more interesting points including some rather fascinating details about their planned A380 configuration:
-- Qatar Airways do not want to be another Emirates. They want to maintain a small fleet (maximum of 35 aircraft) with a high quality product. Expansion will probably be frozen between 2005 and 2007 when the A380 arrives.
-- Qatar Airways currently has around 62% transit of passengers and 38% of passengers arriving/departing Doha. A future aim is a 50:50 balance which is achievable with a growth of Tourism in Qatar (currently in its infancy)
-- Qatar Airways’ will retrofit its A300-600 fleet with the same new seats that are in its A330-200 aircraft within 18 months.
-- Qatar Airways would like to order A321 aircraft, however it would need extra (auxiliary) fuel tanks which would reduce the aircraft’s payload capability.
-- Despite many people branding it as mere “PR”, Qatar Airways are totally serious about the A380 aircraft they plan to get (first one in 2007). There is absolutely no doubt the contract will be signed once Qatar’s precise design is finalised.
-- The whole new Qatar Airport will be open for the Asian Games in 2006, at which time the current airport will be handed over to the air force. The airport will include jetways on 2 levels for the A380’s.
-- Qatar Airways’ A380 will definitely only have 468 seats. The cabin layout has been finalised but not the exact product. 34 inch pitch in Economy class and more pitch with fully reclining seats in Business class can be expected. There will also be a lounge, a bar, a shopping area and library for First and Business Class passengers.
The whole article can be viewed here: http://www.flug-revue.rotor.com/FRHeft/FRH0206/FR0206e.htm
So look like the very luxurious A380 interiors might come true on 1 airline, at least for a while!