Qatar Airways upgrades Singapore once again – this time with the debut of its A350-1000 in Asia

Qatar Airways is increasing capacity and improving its product in the Singapore market by introducing the A350-1000 on all its Doha-Singapore flights. The airline plans to deploy the new airliner on one of its three daily Doha-Singapore flights from 1-Nov-2018 and on a second Doha-Singapore flight from 1-Dec-2018, making Singapore the first destination in Asia for the airline’s new A350-1000 fleet. It plans for the A350-1000 to also be introduced on the third daily Singapore flight by Apr-2019; an exact date will be provided later.


Summary:

  • Qatar Airways has selected Singapore as its first Asian route for the A350-1000;
  • Qatar Airways will introduce the A350-1000 on two of its daily Singapore flights later this year and operate all three of its Singapore flights with the new type by Apr-2019;
  • The A350-1000 enables Qatar Airways to increase business class capacity to Singapore by 28% and introduce its new Qsuites product in SIA’s home market;
  • Qatar Airways’ total seat capacity in Singapore increased by 67% in 2014 and will increase by another 16% as the A350-1000 is introduced.

Qatar Airways is the global launch operator for the A350-1000 and took delivery of its first aircraft in Feb-2018. Doha-London Heathrow was the first route for the type and Qatar currently operates two daily Heathrow flights with the aircraft. The Gulf carrier also now operates the A350-1000 on some of its Frankfurt and Kuwait flights (based on OAG schedules for the week commencing 27-Aug-2018).

Earlier this summer Qatar used the A350-1000 temporarily on some regional routes including Lahore, Muscat and Tehran. Qatar currently operates only two A350-1000s but will take several more over the next few months from its 35 on order, according to the CAPA Fleet Database.

The airline has already announced that Doha-New York JFK will be the first scheduled US route for the A350-1000 with one daily flight starting 28-Oct-2018. (Qatar has already operated the A350-1000 to the US as part of a charter in Jul-2018 to Philadelphia and Miami for German soccer team Bayern Munich.)

The selection of Singapore as the first Asian route is hardly a surprise given that Qatar has previously used Singapore for deploying new aircraft types. Doha-Singapore was the second route after Doha-Frankfurt for Qatar’s smaller A350-900. Tokyo will follow Singapore as the second Asian market for the A350-1000  when it is introduced on Qatar’s Doha-Tokyo Haneda service from 01-Jan-2019.

Qatar became the A350-900 global launch operator in Dec-2014 and began deploying the A350-900 to Singapore in May-2015. Qatar used the A350-900 to increase capacity in the Singapore market by a staggering 67%, including a 145% increase in business class capacity, as it transitioned within a few months the Doha-Singapore route from two daily 787-8 flights to three daily A350-900 flights.

The introduction of the A350-1000 will drive a further 16% increase in capacity on the Singapore-Doha route, including a 28% increase in business class capacity. Qatar has 327 seats on the A350-1000 (281 economy and 46 business) compared to 283 seats on the A350-900 (247 economy and 36 business). It has 254 seats on the 787-8 (22 business and 232 economy).

The A350-1000 also enables Qatar to improve its premium product in the Singapore market as the new type features its new Qsuite business class product. The Qsuite, which Qatar introduced last year on the 777-300ER, features sliding panels that enable business passengers to turn their space into private cabins, including double beds for passengers travelling together.

Singapore has a relatively large premium and corporate market. Providing a top of the line business class product is particularly important in order to compete with Singapore Airlines (SIA), which has one of the world’s best long-haul premium product, in its home market.

Qatar competes aggressively against SIA between Singapore and Europe – at both the front and back ends of the cabin. By selecting Singapore as its first Asian route for the A350-1000 and increasing capacity in Singapore by another 16%, Qatar is once again sending a message to SIA.

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