Qatar Airways will operate its first Airbus A350 on its Doha-Frankfurt route from January as the new aircraft's first scheduled service.

The A350 launch customer has 80 A350s on order, split between the baseline A350-900 and the larger -1000 version. It expects to take delivery of the first aircraft by year-end and eight by the end of 2015.

Qatar said in a statement that it chose Frankfurt as its first destination because of the A350’s high capacity. The first scheduled round-trip flights will be operated on Flight QR067/68 from Doha to Frankfurt, followed by a second daily frequency on Flight QR069/70.

The A350 will offer a two-class layout, featuring 36 seats in business class and 247 seats in economy class.

“The A350 will be a very good aircraft; it will be a game changer in the industry,” CEO Akbar Al Baker told ATW on board the carrier’s first Airbus A380 delivery flight.

“We have many Airbus and Boeing aircraft on order,” Al Baker said, adding that “most of them will be used for replacement, some for growth. Our target is to have an average fleet age of five years,” he said.

The airline will launch new Doha-Djibouti service Oct. 26 and Asmara, Eritrea from Dec. 4.

Qatar operates 137 aircraft to 144 destinations. The carrier launched recently A380 Doha- London Heathrow service.