Qatar Airways is expanding its Airbus A350-1000 operation, sending its newest aircraft to Dallas for the summer 2019 season, according to Routes Online. Slated to join the route on July 1, 2019, the aircraft will serve Dallas until Oct. 26, 2019, the end of the summer season as specified by the International Air Transport Association. The aircraft change will result in Dallas’ first scheduled A350 service.
This is only the third scheduled route to the United States for the dash 1000 variant of the A350, still less than a year old in commercial service, following the use of the aircraft on Cathay Pacific’s new Hong Kong-Washington route and the second service of Qatar’s Doha-New York route. Qatar first brought the aircraft to the U.S. in July 2019 for a one-time charter flight before inaugurating it on the Doha-New York route in October.
Dallas is an important destination for Qatar due to the country’s link to the oil industry in Texas, and is the third furthest destination in the U.S. for Qatar behind Los Angeles and nearby Houston. The city is currently served by Qatar’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, with the route taking around 16 hours in the westbound direction and 14 hours in the eastbound direction. Qatar’s only Middle Eastern competition in the city is Emirates, which also sends its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
While the city once served as an important tie to fellow oneworld partner, American Airlines, the two airlines have since faced a strained relationship due in part to American ending their codeshare agreement with Qatar.
Despite the upgrade in aircraft, the route will suffer a decrease in capacity by over 30 seats compared to its Boeing counterpart. The biggest advantage, however, will be the passenger-friendly amenities featured on the new Airbus such as ambient mood lighting, lower cabin altitudes and a quieter cabin thanks to the Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines, as well as the Qsuite-equipped business class cabin that comes standard on Qatar’s A350-1000 XWB aircraft.
The private business class suites have been consistently praised by frequent travelers thanks to the privacy and versatility offered. In the center aisle, the suites can be converted into a double bed for passengers and couples traveling together, but also a conference room for groups of four, ideal for families or business travelers.
Additionally, the Trent XWB engines allow for the near-8,000 nautical mile route to be operated with increased fuel efficiency by 25 percent compared to older generation aircraft, according to Airbus.
The A350-1000 XWB entered commercial service in February 2018 with Qatar as the launch customer for the aircraft, a larger variant to the initial dash 900 model. Currently, Qatar’s service to the U.S. is dominated by two aircraft types, the A350-900 XWB and the Boeing 777-300ER; however, as the airline continues to take delivery of new aircraft and convert some of its dash 900 orders to the larger dash 1000, its possible that the U.S. will see more dash 1000s soon enough.