Lonely Planet Writer

New Doha - Philadelphia service with Qatar's A350 XWB

Qatar Airways launched the first regularly scheduled Airbus A350 XWB flights in the United States on 1 Jan, providing a daily service between Philadelphia and Doha.

Qatar Airways A350 XWB.
Qatar Airways A350 XWB. Image by curimedia PHOTOGRAPHY / CC BY 2.0

For travelers, the large, wide-bodied A350 XWB should appeal because it offers wider seats in both business and economy classes (up to 18 inches in the latter), quieter engines, panoramic windows, electromagnetic shades in business class that go from transparent to opaque, and jet-lag–reducing lighting. And everyone concerned about the environment should be enthused about the A350 XWB’s aerodynamically efficient tapered wings and lightweight construction, which cause the planes to emit 25% less carbon dioxide than for other aircraft in its category.

In the works since 2004 and costing $15 billion to develop, the Airbus A350 XWB made its worldwide commercial debut with Qatar Airways in January 2015.

A Oneworld Alliance member, Qatar Airways plans to start flying A350 XWBs on its New York and Adelaide routes as well. Currently Vietnam Airlines, Finnair, and Tam Airlines also fly A350 XWBs, but not in the United States. Aer Lingus, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Ethiopian Airlines, Lufthansa, and United are among the 41 customers that also have ordered the plane.