Qatar Airways has announced plans to fly its largest aircraft, the Airbus A380, to China for the first time.
On 1 July 2016, the Doha-based carrier will deploy the double-decker jet on its direct service to Guangzhou. This will make the southern Chinese city only the fourth global destination to welcome Qatar Airways’ A380, after London, Paris and Bangkok.
“This year marks our eighth anniversary of operations in Guangzhou and we are delighted to celebrate this milestone by introducing our bespoke A380 aircraft,” said Qatar Airways’ group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker.
“The Pearl River Delta region is one of China’s most vibrant trade and travel hubs and we have witnessed steady passenger growth both to and from Guangzhou over the years. Passengers from Asia can now enjoy their entire journey on our luxurious A380 aircraft when they fly to popular cities such as London and Paris via… Hamad International Airport in Doha.”
From 1 July, Qatar Airways’ A380 will depart Doha daily at 0230 and arrive in Guangzhou’s Baiyun International Airport at 1530. The return flight will then take off at 0055 and arrive back in the Qatari capital at 0400.
The 517-seat A380 offers eight flat-bed seats in first class and 48 in business class, both in a 1-2-1 configuration. The first class seats have a 90-inch (2.3-metre) pitch and come equipped with a 26-inch HD in-flight entertainment screen, while the business class seats have an 80-inch pitch and a 17-inch IFE screen.
There are two economy class cabins – one on the upper deck in a 2-4-2 configuration (pictured top) and one on the lower deck in a 3-4-3 layout. Each economy class seat has a 32-inch seat pitch and a seat-back IFE screen.
The A380 will replace the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft Qatar Airways currently deploys on its Guangzhou route.