Qatar Airways Unveils The Super Jumbo Airbus A380 at HIA

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At an extravagant event held in the worlds largest aircraft maintenance hangar at Hamad International Airport in the presence of the Patron, The Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of the State of Qatar, His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani , Minister of Finance and Chairman of Qatar Airways, His Excellency Mr. Ali .Shareef Al Emadi, the Group Chief Executive of Qatar Airways, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Ministers, Sheikhs, Ambassadors and over 500 guests.

Registered A7-APA, after its take off form Hamburg upon delivery by Airbus to the airline, the aircraft arrived at HIA after a short flypast over the Doha Corniche showcasing its beautiful livery in Qatar Airways colors with “Qatar” written in bold on the under belly of the aircraft. Residents of Doha were surprised to an aircraft flying so low and shared the excitement on social media.

During the press conference after the arrival of the aircraft Mr. Akber Al Baker addressed the local and international media, “arrival of the new super-jumbo marks a moment of great pride for the State of Qatar and the national airline”

Speaking to journalists Al Baker said “We received the aircraft two years later than proposed delivery date as we wanted Airbus to modify the wing design which was causing the hairline cracks, as we at Qatar Airways give the passenger safety the out most priority”

About A380

Qatar Airways currently have 13 A380’s on order (10 firm, 3 optional). The aircraft is configured in three classes which seats a total of 517 passengers, 8 seats in First Class, 48 in Business Class and 461 in Economy Class spread across two decks.

First Class: The First Class aboard the A380 has 8 suites on the upper deck in a 1-2-1 configuration. Featuring a 90” full flat bed (longest in the industry) and a 26” HD in-flight entertainment screen which can be accessed through a touch control pad in the armrest. All seats have direct aisle access and exclusive spa-like bathrooms with luxurious amenities.

Business Class: 48 seats featured in Business Class on the upper deck in a 1-2-1 configuration with a 80” full flat bed (effective pitch: 51”) and 17” HD in-flight entertainment screen. All seats have direct aisle access.

Both the First and Business Class passengers aboard the A380 will have access to the spacious inflight lounge offering premium passengers an escape from the typical airplane environment which is located on the upper deck behind the Business Class cabin.

Economy Class: Spread across two decks the Economy Class seats 461 passengers. 56 seats are located on the upper deck in 2-4-2 configuration and 405 seats on the main deck in 3-4-3 configuration. All the Economy seats have 32” pitch and 10.6” IFE screens.

The IFE (in-flight entertainment) system has a lot to offer with great collection of entertainment, news and audio. The IFE will also display a live view of outside the aircraft from a tail camera, the first on Qatar Airways.

All passengers on the A380 can experience the in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity allowing them to send emails for work, browse the web, or stay up-to-date with their social network. The cost and availability of the service to the passengers was not declared by the airline yet.

The Airline will judge the performance of the current fleet after its inaugural flight before placing any more orders for this type of aircraft. The rivals in the industry Emirates currently fly 50 A380’s in their fleet, which has a list price of $380 million.

Qatar Airways will have received a total of 4 Airbus A380’s by end of 2014 and will operate a daily flight on London and Paris routes which are the most popular on the airline’s network. The first commercial flight will be QR001 to London Heathrow on October 10th 2014.

Link to the events live stream

What are your thoughts? Will you be flying on the A380 soon?

Qatar Airways One World Alliance

Finally the word is out. This morning Qatar Airways CEO Mr.Akber Al Baker signed the official alliance with One World and displayed their sexy Boeing 777 (A7-BAA) in the One World livery.

Qatar Airways One World Livery

Although the aircraft still had the engines in the regular QR livery which looked a bit odd. Look forward to seeing more of the birds in the One World livery.

Here is the aircraft in daylight at Hamad International Airport

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Here is the link to the ferry flight of A7-BAA from Dublin as QR 3250 to Doha on Flightradar24.

http://www.flightradar24.com/2013-10-27/23:18/12x/QTR3250

Photo credits: photo by El-AMD

Obtaining E-Gate/Smart Card in Doha

With no proper guidance or FAQ’s available online regarding the procedure to obtain E-Gate pass which helps you surpass the long lines at Doha Airport, i thought to write about the procedure.

There are 2 simple ways to attain E-Gate:

Applying for a Smart Card with E-Gate and other E-Government services

1.To obtain a new Smart Card with E-Gate and other E-Gov services you will have to head to the main Immigration and Passport controls office in Gharrafa.

2. All though you do not require any form for this but you will have to print out the form from the link below for you to get through the entrance as the cops have a different mood every other day. http://www.moi.gov.qa/PermitForm/smartCard/inputForm.jsp

3. Once you are in, make your way towards Gate 2

4. Once inside walk straight to the other where you will see a coffee stall. Right next to the coffee stall you will see a machine with a big screen and camera

5. Wait for the operator to arrive. Here you will do you finger prints, digital signature and take a new photo for your smart id

6. Once done with this go to the reception to get a token for e-gate

7. When your number is called, head to the counter and tell the personnel you want to attain a E-Gate. Also let them know if you like to add other E-Gov services

8. Remember to have a credit/Debit card on you to make the payment as they do not accept cash

9. After making the payment have a seat until your card is produced. The police officer will shout for you name when your card is ready

10. Now head to the same place where gave your finger prints to activate your E-Gate and other services. There will be a different machine to check this and someone will help you out

Adding E-Gate services on your current Smart Card (QID with a chip)

This is one of the simplest ways to get E-Gate services. If you already have an Smart Card i.e your Qatari ID with a chip on it, head to the Doha International Airport Terminal 1 where they have an E-Gate office. Ask for the personnel at the desk for E-Gate services and they will help you out. This takes about 5-10 minutes.

Fee for E-Gate:
QR 100 for one year
QR 150 for two year’s
QR 200 for 3 year’s

There will be an additional fee of QR:100 for the new ID card.

I have attached the a rough layout of where everything is inside so you don’t feel lost. Also i recommend you be there before 8:30 am (Gharaffa immigration) to get a parking spot.

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Remembering the victims of Villagio fire

A year has passed away and it just seems like yesterday that this dreaded event took place. I lost a dear friend of mine in this incident. Here are some photos from last year’s Villagio Fire Vigil.

Here is a video where locals paid tribute to the Weekes family in a New Zealand way as they lost their triplets in the villagio fire incident.

Smarter and Better looking Google Maps are here

The search giants Google announced a major update to their product Google Maps at Google I/O conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.