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Last but not least, Qatar Airways receives its first Airbus A350 in years.

The airline has acquired its first new airframe from Airbus since 2020 following a protracted legal dispute regarding A350 deterioration and a resulting settlement.

Finally, after around two and a half years, Qatar Airways has received its first brand-new Airbus aircraft. On May 12th, an A350-1000 made this noteworthy delivery flight from Toulouse to Doha. The aircraft is the 20th A350-1000 and 54th total A350 for Qatar Airways.

Details of the aircraft and delivery flight

The A7-ANT aircraft, according to data from FlightRadar24.com, departed Toulouse (TLS) on May 12 at 21:29. The aircraft, carrying the flight number QR3181, touched down at Doha Hamad International (DOH), Qatar Airways’ main hub, at 04:21 on May 13. This delivery flight took off and landed after five hours and 52 minutes.According to Aviation Flights statistics, the A350-1000 with manufacturer’s serial number (MSN) 430 has completed 11 flights totaling roughly 16 hours of flight time prior to delivery.

It is obvious that not all of this aircraft’s pre-delivery flights were true test flights given that it was first observed in March 2020 and made its first test flight in November 2021. The aircraft was transported on some of the flights counted to and from Châteauroux-Centre “Marcel Dassault” Airport (CHR), while others were routine flights to keep the airframe in good operational order.

A crucial step toward restoring normalcy in the relationship

Even while this may be considered one of many aircraft deliveries Airbus makes each week, the arrival of MSN 430 in Doha is noteworthy because the last time the airline received a brand-new Airbus jet was in December 2020.

Many people who keep up with aviation news are aware that Qatar Airways and Airbus fought bitterly in court throughout 2021 and 2022 over surface degradation that occurred on about two dozen airframes. While both sides fired off countless shots, one that stood out was Airbus’ cancellation of Qatar’s unfulfilled orders, which led to Qatar signing a sizeable contract with Boeing.However, on February 1st, 2023, Qatar Airways and Airbus reached a mutually agreeable resolution. All Qatar Airways orders, including those for A350s, were reinstated after the legal action was withdrawn.

What has Qatar Airways been going through

Qatar Airways has had to find other solutions over the past two years, even though fresh deliveries will provide the carrier the capacity it needs to manage a post-pandemic traffic climate. This has included renting Airbus A330-300s from Oman Air and Boeing 777-300ERs from Cathay Pacific.

The return of numerous A380s to Qatar Airways operations was the dispute’s most satisfying result for supporters of the Airbus A380. The airline is flying the A380 twice daily to Heathrow this summer, in addition to delivering the superjumbo to Sydney and Bangkok. Although Akbar al Baker, the CEO of Qatar Airways, has publicly stated that he does not believe his company’s A380s have a long-term future, it is evident that the model is proving to be quite helpful for a heavily slot-restricted airport like London Heathrow.

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