Maldives, Nov 4 (newsin.asia) – The first Airbus A350 landed in the Maldives when Qatar Airways upgraded its double daily service in order to target a wider audience, Qatar Airways said in a statement recently.
The airline has upgraded its current double daily A330 service to an A350, making it the first airline to land an A350 in the honeymoon islands.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, said the airline was proud to be the first to fly its Airbus A350 to the Maldives.
“As one of the airline’s most in-demand destinations, we are delighted to be upgrading our aircraft and providing our passengers with the ultimate comfort and services on board one of the most technologically innovative aircraft in the sky.”
The captain of the maiden flight was Maldivian pilot Tholhath Anwar, local media reported. The airline’s senior vice president also travelled on the flight.
Maldives is located just five hours from Doha.
Qatar Airways first launched service to the Maldives in December 2001. The airline operated the service using an A330 aircraft, which features 30 seats in Business Class and 275 in Economy Class.
Qatar Airways was the global launch customer of the Airbus A350 in January 2015. The airline has the largest fleet of this aircraft type of any airline in the world and currently operates 19 A350 aircraft across its global network to destinations, including Adelaide, Brussels, Geneva, Singapore and Tokyo. It was the first airline to fly the A350 to the United States and to Australia.
Qatar Airway’s new service coincided with two new airlines launching direct flights to Malé ahead of the peak season of the tourism industry from December to March.
Italy’s largest airline Alitalia resumed direct flights from Rome on November 1 after a long hiatus.
Air France also began twice-weekly flights from Paris on Wednesday. The Boeing 777-200 has a capacity of 312 seats.