It’s safe to say that Qatar Airways’ A380 delivery has turned into quite a fiasco. After being delayed for several months due to the delayed opening of Hamad International Airport, it seemed like Qatar Airways would finally take delivery of their A380s. But then:
- In April, Qatar Airways announced they’d launch A380 service to London as of June 17, 2014
- A couple of weeks ago, Qatar Airways announced they’d launch A380 service to Paris as of July 3, 2014
- Last week, Qatar Airways announced they’d delay their A380 service to London until July 1, 2014
- Earlier in the week, Qatar Airways announced the A380 would be further delayed by “several weeks” due to some “fine tuning of the interior”
While Qatar Airways hasn’t yet announced how long their A380 will be delayed, I think it’s safe to assume that the delay will be substantial.
- Qatar Airways has closed first class reservations on QR3 between Doha and London through August 8, 2014
- Qatar Airways has closed first class reservations on QR39/40 between Doha and Paris through September 30, 2014, which was scheduled to be an A380
So while these flights still show as being operated by A380s, I think it’s safe to take this as a sign of what’s to come. I wouldn’t expect to see Qatar Airways’ A380 in service before August… at the earliest. The reason they closed out first class inventory is probably because the second highest capacity aircraft in their fleet is the 777-300ER, which doesn’t feature a first class cabin.
Interestingly first class is still for sale on QR4, which is the London to Doha flight which operates the “turn” of QR3. I would assume that’s just an oversight on their part.
I’m booked on the Asiana A380 out of Los Angeles in the first week it’s operating, so here’s to hoping they don’t experience similar delays.