Qatar Airways Debuting Largest Jet Yet in Philly

With PHL's expansion, bigger jets can help airlines flourish.

Qatar Airways’ A350 XWB will make its Philly debut on Jan. 1, 2016.

Qatar Airways’ A350 XWB will make its Philly debut on Jan. 1, 2016.

The Airbus A350 XWB is an impressive piece of machinery. It’s got the lowest twin engine noise level of any aircraft, wide seats and aisles, and 80-inch fully flat horizontal beds. Being able to lay down during a 13-hour flight? Yes please.

Now, Qatar Airways has announced that the aircraft will make its U.S. debut at the Philadelphia International Airport on January 1, 2016.

The new jet has 9 percent more capacity than the Boeing 777-200LR currently operated on the route.

It’s yet another step forward for PHL, which is set for an expansion plan that will accommodate larger passenger jets by extending runway 27L to 12,000 feet. More long-haul jets could have a serious ripple effect for the local economy — increasing Philadelphia’s international attractiveness and making it a hub for international visitors.

Qatar Airways started non-stop service from Philadelphia to Hamad International Airport in Doha in April 2014. It was PHL’s first new international route in more than a decade.

“We are very excited to have this aircraft serving PHL and, even more so, on our Airport receiving the distinction of being the U.S. launch site for the Qatar Airways’ A350 XWB,” said PHL CEO Mark Gale in a statement. “This new aircraft will both add capacity and enhance the passenger experience.”