Qatar Airways Airbus A350 arrives in Australia for the first time

The world's newest airliner, the Airbus A350, has touched down in Australia for the first time on a commercial flight.

Qatar Airways flight QR914 touched down on Tuesday afternoon after a more than 12-hour haul from Doha.

It marks the first time a commercial flight by an A350 has landed in Australia. The plane is Airbus' response to Boeing's 787 Dreamliner. Like its rival, the A350 is also a lightweight aircraft, allowing it to save on the biggest expense airlines face: fuel.

Unlike the Dreamliner, which has a body is composed primarily of carbon fibre, the A350 uses a combination of materials, including plastic reinforced by carbon fibre, along with titanium and aluminium alloys. More than 70 per cent of the aircraft is made of lightweight materials.

Qatar's plane features 36 business class seats (which convert to fully flat beds) and 247 economy class seat. For passengers, the new plane offers wider panoramic windows and larger overhead storage space.

Like the Dreamliner, Airbus and Qatar also boast that the A350 will help reduce jetlag, with "a dynamic LED lighting system, with cycles, tones and colours to suit the time of day and destination". The cabin also features lower cabin pressure and higher humidity than that found on older planes.

Qatar has rapidly gained an international reputation for delivering a quality service to passengers, having been named the world's best airline in the annual Skytrax awards last year.

See: World's best airlines for 2015 named in annual awards

The airline now flies to Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.


Qatar became the first airline to start flying the A350 after taking delivery of its first in December 2014. The airline now has seven in its fleet with a further 73 on order.

The Middle Eastern carrier announced in January that it intended to start flying a new route, from Doha to Auckland direct, which would be the world's longest non-stop commercial flight. The 18-hour haul would take the title from Emirates, which began flying from Dubai to Auckland direct in March.

Airbus has spent an estimated 10-12 billion euros ($A15-18 billion) on its A350 strategy to position the aircraft between Dreamliner and the larger Boeing 777 in an attempt to eat into both markets.

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