On this week’s episode of “Drama in Doha…”
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 late April, Qatar Airways announced they’d launch A380 service to London as of June 17, 2014
- In mid May, Qatar Airways announced they’d launch A380 service to Paris as of July 3, 2014
- In late May, Qatar Airways announced they’d delay their A380 service to London until July 1, 2014
- In lat(er) May, Qatar Airways announced the A380 would be further delayed by “several weeks” due to some “fine tuning of the interior”
- In early June, Qatar Airways stopped accepting first class reservations on flights that were scheduled to be operated by the A380
Anyway, it seems Qatar Airways’ “rolling” A380 delay is continuing. Qatar Airways has now taken the A380 out of the schedule until August 1, 2014, at the earliest:
- The Doha to London Heathrow route shows the A380 as of August 1, 2014
- The Doha to Paris route shows the A380 as of August 15, 2014
But even past those dates, first class shows as being “zeroed out” for most dates, which suggests that they don’t even expect to start the service within that timeframe. For example, on the Doha to Paris route, Qatar Airways doesn’t show a first class cabin through September 30, 2014.
At this point you’ve gotta wonder whether Qatar Airways or Asiana will start longhaul A380 operations first. Asiana will be starting A380 service to Los Angeles as of August 15, 2014.
I can’t decide whether they’re doing an amazing or horrible job building hype around their A380 launch. Most airlines are excited to “set a date” and build an event around it, while I won’t believe the Qatar Airways A380 inaugural flight is happening until it’s actually airborne. Then again, they’ve turned it into more drama than the three part season finale of Real Housewives of Atlanta, so we can’t really look away either, can we?