Carles Puyol and Luis Suárez with Ali Shareef Al Emadi and Akbar Al Baker / PHOTO: Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways, the official sponsor of FC Barcelona, has unveiled a new aircraft, the first A380 in its fleet, which made its inaugural flight on Thursday from Hamburg to Doha, the airline's main hub. The flight took off with several representatives of FC Barcelona aboard, including the club's Managing Director, Antoni Rossich, assistant Director of Sport, Carles Puyol, and current player, Luis Suarez. Given Suarez's special situation and the fact that the team's training session was scheduled to be light following the previous night's victory, the Club decided to grant him special permission to attend the ceremony.

Flight number QR3380 took off at 8.00 AM from the airport in Hamburg, where the aircraft was built, and arrived at Hammad International Airport in Doha at 5.00 PM. A press conference was held on arrival, and the brand new jet was presented to the local authorities and press. An informal reception followed with Puyol and Suarez getting up on stage to present FC Barcelona shirts to the Prime Minister and Interior Minister of Qatar, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker. Afterwards, Al Baker led everyone on a detailed tour of the jetliner, the largest in civil aviation history.

Once the official presentation of the aircraft ended, the FC Barcelona delegation went into Doha to rest. Their return to Barcelona is expected on Friday, while Luis Suarez is slated to return to football activities on Saturday at the club’s training complex.

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