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Frankfurt will be the first route served by Qatar Airways’ new Airbus A350 Xtra Wide Body (XWB) aircraft in the new year.

The Doha-based airline is the global launch operator of the Airbus rival to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and is due to receive its first aircraft before the end of the year.

Frankfurt will be served non-stop daily with an A350 starting from January 2015 following several weeks of induction preparation.

Qatar Airways said: “The airline has chosen the European city for its first route for the Extra Wide Body service because of the significant capacity the aircraft provides for the comfort of its business and leisure travellers.

The 283-seat aircraft will be flown in a two class configuration with 36 business class seats and 247 in economy.

Qatar Airways has 80 Airbus A350s on order, and expects to have eight operating in its fleet before the end of 2015.

Chief executive?Akbar Al Baker said: “This year has truly been a ‘year of the fleet’ for Qatar Airways. The airline has demonstrated its commitment to quality and comfort offered onboard and to providing passengers with the leading technology available in the aviation industry.

“Qatar Airways looks forward to inaugurating our first A350 on the Doha–Frankfurt route, and to very soon introducing this next-generation aircraft on many other cities offered on the airline’s extensive network.”

Before the end of this year the airline will reach 146 destinations, launching new services to Djibouti in the Republic of Djibouti on October 26 and Asmara in Eritrea on December 4.

Qatar Airways took delivery of its first double-decker A380 in September which is being deployed daily on the Doha–Heath