It seems that Qatar Airways is getting some extra capacity – in the form of four LATAM Airbus A350 aircraft.
LATAM Airbus A350 (Painted in TAM colours) at Madrid Airport – Image, Economy Class and Beyond
The four aircraft are being leased from LATAM group for periods between six and twelve months. These are in addition to the 14 Airbus A350-900 aircraft that are currently in the Qatar Airways long haul fleet.
Qatar Airways are leasing just the aircraft – the planes will be piloted with Qatar Airways pilots and crewed with Qatar Airways cabin crew.
Now, there is a difference between the two aircraft in term of capacity, with the LATAM aircraft configured a bit tighter than Qatar Airways aircraft:
Business Class Economy Class Total Qatar A350 36 247 283 LATAM A350 30 309 339
Qatar Airways (who own 10% of LATAM Group in a purchase made last year), seem happy with the move – with Akbar Al Baker, stating
“In order to meet growing demand for our services, Qatar Airways has entered into an agreement with LATAM Airlines Group to secure up to four A350 aircraft for up to one year.
Thanks to our strong partnership with LATAM, we are able to meet increasing customer demand in the short term, in an innovative way.”
Extra planes are always welcome, with the first plane due to deployed today (2nd March) between Doha and Munich.
Expect these planes to be across the Qatar Airways network. Again – look at the seat maps when booking. If there are more economy seats than normal, and less business class seats – you’ve got a LATAM aircraft instead of a Qatar Airways plane.
It’ll provide a little variety when travelling – that’s for sure.
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