On Sunday 19 May, Qatar Airways made history at Manchester International Airport, with flight number QTD041 performing the first revenue passenger service into the airport using the Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliner.’
With Thomson Airways receiving its first example at the end of May, the 787 is set to become an increasing familiar sight in the skies above Manchester. News of the first visit spread quickly during the week leading up to the flight and led to a large number of interested enthusiasts making an early morning visit to ‘Ringway.’
The aircraft, A7-BCC, a 787-8DZ model, was the third example delivered to the middle-eastern airline in December of last year and arrived an hour earlier than scheduled at around 0620 local, touching down on Runway 05L from Doha. There was a slight delay in getting the aircraft on Stand 202 of Terminal 2 due to the volume of early morning traffic, but soon the sleek looking aircraft was heading up the line of airframes ‘plugged in’ on the Terminal 2 pier.
The aircraft departed back to Doha at just before 1000, and at this stage it remains unclear as to whether this was the start of Qatar Airways using the 787 as the regular type on the Manchester – Doha service, though the Qatar Airways Twitter feed did seem to suggest that this might be the case, should today’s and the next day’s services run smoothly.
After a turbulent few months for the 787 during its entry into worldwide service, let us hope that this is the start of an upturn in fortunes for Boeing’s newest offering.