Qatar Airways Picks Up Its 24th Airbus A350-1000

On July 21st, Qatar Airways took delivery of its 24th Airbus A350-1000 and its 58th A350 overall. The airframe, now about three years old, had spent much of its pre-delivery time in storage while Airbus and Qatar Airways battled over surface degradation issues.

On Friday, July 21st, the A350-1000 registered A7-AOD conducted its delivery flight from Toulouse, France (TLS) to Doha’s Hamad International Airport in Qatar (DOH). data shows that the aircraft departed at 16:28 local time and arrived at its destination at 23:17 local time.

The aircraft has the manufacturer’s serial number (MSN) 444 and, according to Aviation Flights, has conducted a total of nine test flights accumulating over 13 hours of time in the air before delivery.

Aviation Flights notes that this airframe was spotted as early as June 2020, being completely assembled. A few months after this, in September 2020, the jet was spotted in its full livery, albeit without its engines.

It was only on June 9th, 2022, that MSN 444 took to the skies to conduct its first test flight over the skies of Toulouse. This, of course, took place amid the heated legal battle between Qatar Airways and Airbus, which explains why it has taken so long for the aircraft to be delivered.

With no clear end in sight at the time of aircraft testing, the airframe was flown from Toulouse to Airbus storage facilities at Châteauroux-Centre “Marcel Dassault” Airport (CHR). The jet was moved to this location in October 2022 and remained there on the ground for several months.

In January 2023, as Airbus and Qatar Airways were nearing a resolution to their conflict, the A350 took off from CHR for its fifth test flight. Finally, in April 2023, the jet was relocated from CHR to TLS. June would be a busy month for Airbus and this aircraft as numerous engine runs and taxi checks were conducted during this time.

With the airline now having 58 Airbus A350s, it holds on to its place as the operator of the 2nd largest A350 fleet – even if 12 A350-900s are still listed as parked.

Qatar Airways previously had the largest A350 fleet in the world but eventually lost this title to Singapore Airlines. This was due to the Qatari airline’s refusal to take delivery of new jets while it was engaged in its legal battle with Airbus. At the same time, Singapore Airlines was growing its fleet and taking more A350s. The Southeast Asian carrier now has 62 A350s, with just two of these listed as parked by lists Qatar Airways as expecting 18 more A350s while Singapore Airlines has 10 undelivered – a figure that includes seven A350Fs. Thus, it looks like Qatar Airways will eventually regain its title as the world’s largest A350 operator (as long as no additional orders are placed).


Simple Flying

Related Articles

Back to top button