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Second A350 to up ante in Qatar's battle with Lufthansa

Qatar Airways is today taking delivery of its second Airbus A350, which – like the first – will be used to operate Doha-Frankfurt flights.

The new jet will be deployed on this route to "rub salt in the wound" of Lufthansa, said the Gulf carrier's chief executive Akbar Al Baker at the ITB travel trade show in Berlin today.

Qatar gave the A350 its service debut in January, having taken delivering of a first aircraft of the type in December 2014.

Seven additional A350s are to join the first two in Qatar's fleet by year-end. The airline is planning to deploy the type to Singapore when it operates a third daily service to the city state from June.

Al Baker praises the type's performance during the first two months of operation, saying dispatch reliability has been "over and above" Qatar's expectations.

Meanwhile, the A380 – which joined the airline's fleet last September – has, he says, "met" the airline's expectations. The double-decker has been "well received" by customers and generated "high" load factors.

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