This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Qatar Airways became the first airline to operate flights with Airbus’ latest jet when it launched A350 service earlier this year. Since then, Finnair and Vietnam Airlines have introduced the A350 on select flights as well, though Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner has become much more prolific on commercial routes, including those operated by Qatar. Still, there’s no question that the Airbus A350 is one gorgeous aircraft, both inside and out.
Airbus flew a test aircraft to the US in 2014, but a commercial A350 has yet to land on this side of the Atlantic. That’ll change today, when Qatar Airways flies one of its A350s from Doha to New York City! The plane, a charter operating as Qatar Airways flight 7451, is currently en-route, and scheduled to land around 12:50pm local time. You can track the flight here.
I had an opportunity to tour Qatar’s A350 at the Paris Air Show this summer, and I was very impressed. The business-class seats were comfortable and pristine, and the cabin was roomy and attractive. You’ll have more privacy when flying some other business-class products, such as JAL’s Sky Suite, but it’s hard to beat the overall appeal of Qatar’s cabin.
Of course, it’s hard to get a complete feel for an airline’s product from an aircraft walkthrough, so I’m thrilled that I get to fly the A350 back to Doha when it departs JFK this Thursday night! I’ll be back with a full report early next week. And if you want to fly Qatar’s A350 from the US yourself, you won’t have long to wait — the plane is scheduled to launch on the airline’s Philadelphia route on January 1, 2016, followed by Boston on March 16 and New York on April 1.
In fact, there are currently two business-class award seats available on the official inaugural flight from the US, which departs Philadelphia on January 1, 2016. Qatar is a Oneworld member, so you can search for availability using British Airways’ site and then call AA to book one-way business-class flights for 67,500 AAdvantage miles. Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.