Qatar Airways A350 Inaugural Flight To Frankfurt January 15

Qatar Airways is the launch customer for the Airbus A350. They announced a couple of months ago that Frankfurt would be their first A350 destination sometime in January, though hadn’t yet announced dates.

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Well, via airlineroute.net, Qatar Airways has finally published their A350 schedule.

QR67/68 between Doha and Frankfurt will first be operated by the A350, with the following schedule:

QR67 Doha to Frankfurt departing 7:35AM arriving 12:30PM
QR68 Frankfurt to Doha departing 3:25PM arriving 11:25PM

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Apparently the other daily frequency between Doha and Frankfurt (QR69/70) will also be operated by the A350 later in January, though the schedule hasn’t yet been updated to reflect that:

QR69 Doha to Frankfurt departing 2:00AM arriving 6:55AM
QR70 Frankfurt to Doha departing 10:45AM arriving 6:40PM

As a refresher, Qatar Airways’ A350s will feature the same reverse herringbone business class seats that they have on their 787s and A380s.

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How to book award flights on the A350

Award availability tends to be quite good on this route, with four business class seats not being uncommon.

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Qatar is a member of the oneworld alliance, which gives you a few options for redeeming miles in business class.

American AAdvantage

American charges 30,000 miles for a one-way between the Middle East and Europe, with ~$80 in taxes and fees. This is hands-down the best deal.

US Airways Dividend Miles

US Airways charges 60,000 miles for a round-trip between the Middle East and Europe, and doesn’t levy fuel surcharges on Qatar. You could also add either an open-jaw or a stopover for that price.

British Airways Executive Club

British Airways charges 25,000 Avios for the one-way flight in business class. However, you will also pay fuel surcharges of ~$256 each way.

Revenue tickets are reasonably priced as well

Paid business class fares can be quite good as well, if you strategically position yourself. When I flew on the Qatar Airways A380 inaugural from Doha to London a couple of months ago I actually booked a paid first class ticket originating in Cairo, which dropped the fare substantially compared to what a ticket between Doha and London would have cost.

Similarly, you can book a one-way ticket in business class from Cairo to Doha to Frankfurt for ~$760. There’s even availability on the inaugural flight (which I’m booked on).

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I couldn’t turn up the opportunity not only to be on a Qatar Airways inaugural flight, but also to be on the very first commercial flight for that type of aircraft.

Bottom line

I’m excited for the new aircraft, but am not too confident on these dates sticking. Qatar has a history of delaying delivery of new airframes (to put it mildly), and their CEO has had less than complimentary things to say about Airbus in the past.

Still, if being on one of the first commercial flights interests you, award space in January is quite good.

Anyone else planning on being on the Qatar Airways A350 inaugural?

(Tip of the hat to Roger)

Comments

  1. That is reasonable! I just checked the fare and it increased to roughly $920! Still a great fare though but I think I’ll pass. I’m excited to read your trip report though!!! 🙂

  2. @Lucky I was thinking of flying QR70 earlier that week and it was a dreamliner 787 for the longest time now its saying A330? Are they taking the 787 off of that until 1/15 now or are things in flux because everything is being updated?

  3. @ Dan — There have been lots of equipment swaps on their FRA routes lately. So it could very well be an A330, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it changes again.

  4. @Lucky Do you think this is a refurbished A330? As I know QR likes having the most up to date aircraft on its major European destinations (LHR, CDG, FRA etc)

  5. @ Dan — Take a look at the seatmap and whether there are four or six seats per row in business class. For the dates I’m searching, it seems to be the old configuration.

  6. @Lucky- What doesn’t make sense is that whole week QR 70 is dreamliner than on 1/14 goes to an Old A330 for that 1 day. I highly doubt that will be the aircraft for that flight. It just seems odd and mis-placed. What do you think?

  7. @ Dan — Qatar has some really odd/random/scattered schedules. So as of now I would assume that’s correct, though that it could change.

  8. @Lucky thanks for the info. I got hosed twice from EY and QR in regards to the 787. Supposed to fly F from AUH in January too and then that got switched. Then this happened with QR. Do you think its worth the hassle at all to try to fly from MUC or change the date from FRA to get the 787. I have never flown either so wasn’t sure if you think its worth it to pay a change fee/change some plans to fly the 787 QR.

  9. I am also booked on the same flight as you, in business Class! Looking forward to fly the very first A350 in the world!

  10. @Lucky-Any advice on what I should do if made plans for QR 70 on 1/14? Is it worth switching around? Or does the situation seem very in flux and tentative where things could likely change until then?

  11. @ Dan — If you can easily switch around then I definitely would, but I do think it’s probably still subject to change.

  12. @Lucky-After discussing with a few people, the school of thought is they are using that A330 because they may switch the dreamliner rotation to a different location to have the aircraft there. That 1 day void gives the plane time to be in another city before the 1/15 arrival of the A350 for QR 68? Do you agree or disagree with this? I assume you disagree because you said you still think its subject to change? Can you explain your rationale?

    Thanks

  13. @ Dan — That theory makes sense and it could very well be that it’s being positioned onto a new route with a day buffer. But Qatar is fluid with schedules, so I wouldn’t totally count on that sticking. I’d still switch flights in your shoes, though.

  14. @ Lucky, you’ll find me in seat 42A. Hoping that there is a welcome party on the apron at FRA, so window seemed to be the way to go. It seems like a lot of the seats are blocked, only a few rows at the back to choose from.

  15. @Lucky
    I am coming in from Abu Dhabi on QR1041, due in about 05:50. I’ll probably go straight to the gate and see what’s up. If not, I’ll be in the Oryx Lounge (or NDIA equivalent). I’m surprised they are not promoting this as special flight, it would have been great to get on the SQ A380 party.

  16. Just checked with QR desk, flight 67 is still 359 (big sigh of relief), boarding my connection now. Next stop Doha. Looking forward to an exciting day.

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