Bits: Qatar’s first A350-1000 arrives and off to Heathrow, three new routes to the Med from Southend

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News in brief:

Qatar Airways first A350-1000 arrives, to be used on Heathrow route

On Tuesday Qatar Airways received its first (and the world’s first) A350-1000 at the Airbus factory in Toulouse

This makes Qatar Airways the first airline worldwide to operate an A350-1000.  The airline has ordered a total of 37 A350-1000 and after a delay of a few months they are finally here.

With 327 seats there is a seat increase of 44 compared to the shorter A350-900. It will be the first Airbus to feature the new Qsuite Business Class product which has so far been installed on 15 of Qatar’s Boeing 777 aircraft.

As well as having advanced air system technology, renewing the air every two to three minutes, the A350-1000 claims to have the quietest cabin of any twin-aisle aircraft.

Qatar Airways says that:

“The A350-1000 is the first aircraft to systematically offer internet connectivity, providing passengers with a global broadband connection, a high-bandwidth fibre optics delivering high-definition video to passengers, cameras installed on the tail and belly of the aircraft that provide passengers with a 360° outside view throughout the flight and advanced design technologies that contribute to fuel consumption, which is 25 per cent lower than other aircraft in the same category.”

The first A350-1000 flight will be on the Heathrow to Doha route as QR15 on 24th February.

Qatar A350 1000

Air Malta to fly from London Southend Airport

London Southend Airport has announced that Air Malta will be serving three new routes to the Mediterranean starting 4th May.

The new routes will be:

  • Malta (3 x per week)
  • Catania, Sicily (2 x per week)
  • Cagliari, Sardinia (2 x per week)

The Catania and Cagliari flights will continue on to Malta which means there will be four indirect flights per week in addition to the three direct ones.

Prices for all new routes will start from £35 on a hand baggage only fare.

The flights can be booked here.

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  1. OT-

    Can someone please post the link to upgrade from PRGC to Platinum?


  2. Hi Rob,

    Actually QR15 is DOH-LHR rather than LHR-DOH, LHR-DOH will be the second flight 🙂


    • HarryKUK says:

      Is there any special event at LHR to mark the occasion?? I’ll coincidentally be there at the same sort of time but flying on MH1, also on an A350 but the previous version.

  3. Interesting to see that the Arab airlines still investing heavily into new aircrafts and lead the way. Considering BA’s planes are so old and shabby maybe they can ask Qatar and co for their “older” planes. When flying back from Cancun the other day I couldn’t not believe the state of the 777 plane. Ripped carpets, overhead lockers didn’t close properly, plastics broken and the overall plane was very very dirty overall. Not to mention the Inflight Entertainment screens being so small and crappy you need to go to spe savers first in order to see beyond the checkerboard displays. For a premium airline this is really a bad show.

  4. menachem says:

    as well on the gold is there a link to get a additional user and get 5k for it (believe saw it somewere on your post )

  5. OT Nationwide, apologies for being way off topic but I kow from past comments quite a few HFP readers manage the Nationwide FlexDirect account to achieve 5% saving in alternate years. Sadly, this is no longer possible, I got this message from them today:

    “Please note, the FlexDirect Account terms and condition recently changed from 13 January 2018, Current Account Terms & Conditions will change and members will only be entitled to 5% the first time they open a FlexDirect account.
    Any members opening additional accounts or switching back from another product to FlexDirect, or members that have previously held a FlexDirect with the 5% rate, will be entitled to 1%. (Members are still entitled to benefit from the introductory offer on both a sole and a joint account).”

    • I had the Nationwide 5% savings account last year and my year was up in January. I now have another 5% savings account but the max is £250 a month now instead of £500.

      • Yes, been a great year for Nationwide, they added £3 to the FlexPlus a few months ago too and reduced the benefits. CS agent tried to impress by stating my 15yr loyalty saver had been increased to 1% so I just informed her I could get 1.3% at Tesco as a new customer.

        • Yes I have been thinking of moving all my accounts as well. The £3 rise was just about the last straw but I haven’t got round to moving yet!

        • Grimz/James
          Remember that FlexPlus still provides 3% AER credit interest on balances up to £2,500 so not quite as good as the 5% on free FlexDirect account.

          Agree it’s disappointing that FlexPlus cost increased and benefits decrease but overall I still consider it worthwhile for me.

  6. OT Possibly not most HFP readers favoured destination but there is a new Hampton in Blackpool due to open in June, no bookings being taken currently i cant see what category it is.

  7. OT Has anyone any recent experience of points from Melia hotels going to their Iberia account? I checked out two weeks ago and while the points show as transferred to Iberia on my Melia account, I still haven’t received them.

  8. OT – I have a saved Amex offer for £50 off £500 with tripadvisor rentals. I have an existing booking with Holiday Lettings via tripadvisor rentals with remaining balance to pay soon. Would paying this off meet the t&cs? Not sure if holiday lettings bookings are the same. As I have to pay in Euros it will cost me a few% more to use the Amex than my Zero card.

    Also if I upgrade to platinum when would the fee normally hit?


    • Upgrading from Gold to Platinum the offers DO port over.
      Not sure but when I looked I thought the rentals is the lettings, can’t see what else could be classified as the rental

  9. OT – anyone have any idea how long purchases take to confirm in the Iberia Plus Store?

    Im trying to activate my Iberia+ account, I purchased an iTunes song which tracked in the store on 15th Jan and showed as pending on 16th Jan, but has showed pending ever since…..


    • manana?

      • Yes; well – I know mañana / tomorrow is prevelant in Spainish society…but, I was looking for something a little more helpful…

        But thanks Mark2….

        • Aren’t those sites normally 40 days?

        • Genghis,

          Under the FAQ: “We’ll confirm the transaction with the Retailer before updating the transaction status to ‘Approved’. Most purchase will be approved within 40 days, but some retailers may take up to 120 days, and are subject to the Retailer’s Terms & Conditions.”

          What I was wondering is if its likely by Saturday (40 days) and if anyone has any experience of this site in particular – of if its more likely nearer the 120 days!

  10. OT – My mother in law has now opened a BA Exec club account and has MR Points to transfer to BA. She is not in my household BA account as she lives at a different address. Is there a way of me using her points?

  11. Graham Walsh says:

    OT – in the post today new Lloyds Avios card T&Cs have updated. Thankfully I can’t see anything about Avios going.

  12. Does anybody know if Virgin offers the (30%?) bonus on Miles Booster at particular times of the year or is it random?

  13. O/T For those who still have Miles&More credit card, is there anyone who hasn’t received miles this month? They usually post within 3 days of the statement, but now it’s been about 10 days.

  14. The Original Nick says:

    O:T, Does anyone know if it’s possible to move Tesco CC points to a VS account of someone else. The two people have the same address and the same surname.

    • Yes I’ve done it several times with no problems. There is a 20% bonus if you do it before 15 March.

    • If there has been a FC number associated with the clubcard account previously I doubt that it will allow you to transfer them to a different FC account numer. At least, that was my experiencd when I triec this withBA and avios some time ago.

      • Just noted above Alex reported a different experience so I would certainly give it a try.

    • Apparently it does work ok even without address / surname match so you should be fine.

  15. It is Becoming so boring that whatever the topic, article of the day is straight away we have the appology poster that takes it “ot” and starts talking about bloody cc stuff! It is time to have a section on this site dedicated to this stuff. There are people who read this site and are not into endless cc juggling! Having to look for usefull comments on the original article is annoyingly boring and takes aaay from what the article is about in the first place.

    • The Original Nick says:

      TT, if you were a long term reader of this site you should know that Bits article isn’t a problem to post an OT question. Obviously you haven’t been around for long enough. Take a look at how many OT questions there are on this BITS article before wasting your time.

      • I have been around for a while, I know it is happening , and I do not like it, its called voicing an opinion Nick, if you were around long emough you would have known that having an opinion also is mever a problem on this site!

        • HarryKUK says:

          I have read through about 273936283 OTs now to see if anyone replied to my original question and agree it is incredibly annoying. Isn’t there somewhere else OT questions can go? Surely there must be another article that is at least about a bank or a credit card that these Nationwide questions can go to?

  16. OT-

    When you upgrade from PRGC to Platinum, does your MR points disapper for few days, until the account is transferred for the change?

    I have not transferred out any MR points yet, hopefully I haven’t lost those points.

    • I cannot recall if my points ever disappeared but my offers certainly did. They came back ok afew days later. I am sure you will be fine.

  17. OT – Now the mortgage is fixed for 5 years I’m happy to take a ding on my credit history for an extra 3k MRs… so how do I apply for the Platinum companion credit card? I can’t find the link in my Amex account or anywhere else on google, FT etc.

  18. OT –

    For anyone who signed up for this offer months ago, did you get your points?

    They’ve finally been credited in my Iberia this week account at 50 Avios, which can’t be right!

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