Video Of Qatar Airways’ Inaugural A380 Flight To Atlanta

Filed Under: Qatar, Videos

On June 1, 2016, Qatar Airways inaugurated one of the most controversial flights in recent history, between Doha and AtlantaThere’s a huge conflict between the US and Gulf carriers, and perhaps the most outspoken airlines on both sides have been Delta and Qatar.

I’m sure you can imagine Delta’s response when Qatar launched service to their hub, a route which Qatar’s CEO claims is being launched to “rub salt in the wound of Delta.” To send even more of a message, Qatar Airways operated the inaugural flight using an Airbus A380, rather than the Boeing 777 which will operate the route subsequently.

That made for some great entertainment, as Qatar Airways ended up having to park their A380 at a remote stand in Atlanta, rather than getting the airport’s one A380 gate (which was instead occupied by a much smaller Delta plane). This annoyed Qatar Airways, though they didn’t go through the proper channels for getting the plane type approved, and then had to pay the price.


The follow-up correspondence between Atlanta Airport and Qatar Airways was fascinating, to the point that Al Baker threatened that the issue would be taken “very seriously” by the Qatari government (even though Qatar Airways was the one at fault, for not getting proper approval).

While the drama seems to have now mostly subsided, Qatar Airways published a cool video of their first flight to Atlanta, including the landing, water canon salute, and even their arrival at a remote stand:

For even more cheesy entertainment, check out the “Qatar Airways cabin crew guide to Atlanta:”

The only thing which would make the videos even better is if they had some quotes in them from His Excellency!

  1. Man, I was really hoping they would show the QR afterparty at the local boxing ring between AAB and Ed, lol JK!

    In all seriousness though, if QR wanted publicity, they sure got it. After all there’s no such thing as bad *cough* publicity, except when you disembark a friggin A380 at the home airport of your arch rivals HQ. I think we all know who got wiped off the floor here 😉

    If you think Atlanta was bad, wait till QR launches service to the bloodbath that is DTW. Delta isn’t just going to embarrass them even worse, they’re going to wipe the floor with QR. ATL at least has one A380 capable gate, DTW doesn’t even have that! DL will make AAB and his cronies fly all the way back to Doha. Now THAT will be embrassment. I mean seriously QR, what did you expect, when you rub salt in the wound?

  2. Embarrassment? The only embarrasing thing is Delta acting like a spoilt bully boy. Really below the level they should be acting as world biggest most profitable airline.

  3. Embarrassment???cant compare to an Airline who still flies 767 and 757 what about one of the busiest airport with just 1 yes 1 A380 gate :))))

  4. @mohamed – “cant compare to an Airline who still flies 767 and 757”

    Lots of airlines still fly the 767 and 757. What on earth is embarrassing about that?

    “what about one of the busiest airport with just 1 yes 1 A380 gate :))))”

    Why does ATL need more than 1? The biggest carrier there doesn’t fly the A380.

  5. I wonder what sort of approvals they needed to be able to get drone footage near a major airport (or maybe they just did it without approval). The bigger scandal is not that Qatar didn’t get the only A380 gate, it is that ATL, the busiest airport in the world, only has one A380 gate! I’m sure you can find a pattern of Delta protectionism going back many years to avoid planning for more A380 gates.

    Especially funny since several other their skyteam partners fly A380s (AF, KE, CZ). You would think they would want more.

  6. QR knew it will not get a gate for A380 probably by April 27.

    @Tampa Spotter,
    DTW McNamara is SkyTeam exclusive, so QR will never get a gate there. QR can park at North Terminal.

  7. Whatever the drama is,I am glad to see Qatar flying from is a shiity airline and been from Atlanta,I like that we now have options when flying to southasia

  8. Atlantan talking here. I am very happy to see this, we need some international competition out of Atlanta. Delta charges exorbitant prices just because they can and that in tern drives up everyone else’s prices. Welcome Qatar I’m am glad you’re here.

  9. @Tom

    Why do you think it was drone footage?

    I would be very surprised if it was. Probably just shot form a helicopter, old school.

  10. I was wondering the same thing as Tom and Todd…one of the world’s busiest airports yet Qatar gets some incredible shots of the approaching, landing and taxiing plane. I was back and forth about it being a drone vs. helicopter, but either way, I am quite surprised that they could pull that off.

  11. It was a helicopter. More specifically a orange one. I was standing on the ramp @T1. I was the tiny orange blob.
    QR did shoot themselves in the foot in not follow the 60-day rule. Most airports have a 90-day rule.

  12. The only thing which would make the videos even better is if they had some quotes in them from His Excellency!

    Shame on you, Lucky, the only thing which would make the videos even better,
    would be if the sexist airline would use their male flight attendants in their ads.

  13. @Ben, I know you are not that familiar with ATL, but please stop reporting that there is one gate at ATL for A380s. At ATL, A380s require two (2) gates, E1 AND E3. My Korean Air A380 flights always leave from and arrive at these two gates. Surely Qatar A380s need the same space and access. To block Qatar from deplaning at the concourse delta needed to occupy only gate E1 or gate E3. Which one was it or both?

  14. @john

    A380 parks at E3A and E3B at an angle (not to block the taxiway), which renders E1 completely useless and partially blocks/downgrades E5 to a Cat-III(A320/B737) or smaller.

    There are aerial pictures of KE A380 parked at E3 clearly shows the issue.

  15. Delta looked bad here, like losers. Afraid of competition, heck QR promoted Atlanta finest places…QR prices are great too for connecting to NBO. Also heard advertisement on radio about petition to write to QR and complain about human rights and women rights in Qatar….I suspect Delta involved in this. How about compete fair in service and pricing???


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