Qatar Airways (QR, Doha Hamad Int'l) will deploy its first A350-900 on short-haul training runs within the Gulf region in the fourth quarter of this year before deploying the aircraft internationally.

Specialist blog, A350blog, reports the Qatari national carrier will operate the A350s first on long-haul services to New York JFK before redeploying the aircraft on European routes.

The launch customer for the type, Qatar Airways says it expects to take delivery of its first of 80 A350-900s in December though it is believed that Airbus Industrie (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) could pre-empt that date.