Qatar Airways took delivery of its first Boeing 787-8 at a special ceremony in Seattle on 12 November.

Speaking at the event, Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker said the new delivery marked a momentous occasion in the airline's history.

"Five years ago, Boeing delivered its first ever aircraft to us, a 777. In 2007, we celebrated another milestone as Qatar airways entered the American market with the launch of scheduled flights to New York and Washington DC.

"Today we are witness to stronger ties with the USA and Boeing as we become the first Middle East customer to take delivery of the Dreamliner."

Qatar 787 delivery

Dominic Perry/Flightglobal

Qatar placed an order for 30 General Electric GEnx-1B-powered 787s with options for a further 30 aircraft in November 2007.

Configured in a two-class layout, Qatar's Dreamliner can accommodate 254 passengers. It boasts 22 specially designed lie-flat business-class seats from B/E Aerospace and 232 Recaro-supplied seats in the economy cabin.

The Gulf carrier will initially deploy the 787 on services linking its Doha hub with Dubai to help familiarise its crew with the aircraft. Its maiden long-haul service will be between Doha and London Heathrow.

As further 787s join the fleet, the carrier will deploy them on routes to Zurich, Delhi and Frankfurt.

Qatar is the seventh carrier to take delivery of the Dreamliner, with the eighth customer, LOT Polish Airlines, due to receive its first of the type in the coming days.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news