Needless to say, the passengers were terrified.
In-flight cocktails were definitely deserved for those aboard Qatar Airways’ first Airbus A350 flight from the United States last week. The trip—which was scheduled to depart from New York’s JFK Airport—was meant to showcase what many consider the Dreamliner 787’s biggest competitor. Thirty-six journalists and staff members filled business-class seats and eagerly awaited the historic takeoff. However, things didn’t exactly go as planned. Just as the massive airliner was picking up speed for takeoff, the jet came to a screeching halt. Check it out:
According to Zach Honig, editor-in-chief of The Points Guy, the ordeal was quite terrifying and some passengers even requested to be taken off the plane. Instead, Qatar’s Chief Commercial Officer was sent to ease fears, reassuring passengers that the next takeoff attempt would be successful. “As I understand it, for some reason the A350 decided that our 11,000-foot runway was too short to support the takeoff, and the plane applied the brakes at full force—all on its own,” writes Honig.
The computer system may not have been part of Qatar’s original list of features to showcase, but eventually the A350’s wheels successfully made it off the ground from a different runway. The flight marks the first from an A350 in the United States and regular service on Qatar Airways is set to begin in January 2016.