Qatar Airways will be changing the aircraft operated on routes to London and Birmingham from Doha. During December 2019, two Boeing airliners will be replaced by the carrier’s A350s, in a positive move for the United Kingdom.
Routesonline reports that there will be an amendment between December 1 and December 31, on flights QR327 and QR328, between London Gatwick and Doha. This route will have the current Boeing 787-8 replaced by an A350-900XWB.
Furthermore, flights QR329 and QR330 will also have an aircraft change on the same route. Its 777-300ER will be replaced by the A350 between December 2 and December 12. In addition, there will also be a change with Qatar Airways’ route between Doha and Birmingham. The flights will be operated by the A350 rather than the usual 787-8 between December 12 and December 21.
This is a welcome situation for UK travelers. The airline’s A350s are still fresh within their fleet, with an average age of 2.1 years, according to Planespotters. Qatar Airways currently operates a total of 48 of the aircraft type. This is split between 10 A350-1000s and 38 A350-900s. It will be the slightly smaller A350-900 that will temporarily replace these routes. The first one of these was delivered in December 2014 while the latest one was received in September this year.
Qatar Airways already operates some of these planes on routes to the United Kingdom. Flight QR2 to London Heathrow is already regularly operated with an A350. However, last-minute changes sometimes cause the plane to be replaced by the firm’s B777. Those traveling on the revised routes in the company’s famous Qsuites cabin will now be able to enjoy the experience in a fresh aircraft.
Ultimately, these changes coincide with Qatar Airways’ recent declaration that it has come out stronger following the blockade on its country. Qatar is gearing up ahead of hosting the World Cup in 2022 and the airline will play a huge part in transporting fans to and from the country. With ties severed with several of its neighbors, Qatar is working with its state carrier to improve connectivity with other countries.
The operator currently flies to the UK cities of Birmingham, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Manchester, Cardiff, and Edinburgh. By making the A350 have more of a presence in the country, Qatar Airways is showing its intent of long-term planning. The firm may be looking to phase out its older Boeing aircraft after this trial. However, despite the age of the B777, the airline has affirmed that it won’t retire the type until the 777X is delivered.
Simple flying reached out to Qatar Airways for comment on the change but did not hear back before publication. We will update the article with any further announcements.
What do you think of these routes switching to Airbus A350s? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.