Qatar Airways will be receiving nearly 30 new aircraft from both Boeing and Airbus this year, Group Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker has said.“We are not going to place any new order at the moment unless we do more acquisition of airlines during this year. In that case we will see the requirements in our new acquisition of airlines.
“For the time-being, what we have ordered is already in the pipeline. We have more than 300 aircraft that are still to be delivered. So I think it is already a lot for a small country like Qatar and a large airline like Qatar Airways,” al-Baker told the media here Saturday.
Asked whether Qatar Airways has slowed down following the illegal blockade on the nation by a quartet of Arab countries, al-Baker said, “We have not slowed down. We are not going to slow down our march ahead in any manner. We have a very clear vision both by the government and the airline. We are clearly expanding.”
Next month, Qatar Airways will become the global launch customer for the world’s very first A350-1000. The national carrier has ordered 37 of the world’s most advanced passenger aircraft.
Qatar Airways will take delivery of the first Airbus A350-1000 aircraft between February 15 and 20 at its production facility in Toulose, France, al-Baker told Gulf Times.
Currently, it is being fitted with Qsuite, a patented Qatar Airways product. Qsuite features the industry’s first-ever double bed in business class, as well as privacy panels that stow away, allowing passengers in adjoining seats to create their own private room, a first of its kind in the industry.
Qatari pilots among others with the Qatari national flag in front of the the Airbus A350-1000 test aircraft
Al-Baker said Qatar Airways has some 80 A350 on order and is the largest customer of the A350 programme.
“We have already received 23 of this type and the remaining will be received by us from now until 2025.”
Qatar Airways owns a modern fleet of more than 200 aircraft and flies to nearly 150 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.
The airline is launching a host of exciting new destinations this year including Penang (Malaysia), Canberra (Australia) and Cardiff (UK) among others.
Qatar Airways also hopes to receive the first Boeing 777X aircraft by the first half of 2020, al-Baker said.
Qatar Airways is one of the largest customers of the 777X programme, which Boeing said will be the “largest and most efficient” twin-engine jets in the world.
Al-Baker said, “We have been doing continuously what people never expected us to do. Many people expected that we will fail. We have proven not only to our adversaries but also to the whole world that Qatar is an extremely resilient and forward-looking country, which will continue to progress under the wise leadership of HH the Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.”
Meanwhile, al-Baker welcomed the arrival of the Airbus A350-1000 test aircraft to Doha, as part of a special demonstration tour by Airbus.
The visit was the first stop by the advanced ultra-long-range aircraft to as many as 12 destinations throughout the Middle East and Asia Pacific, designed to showcase the aircraft’s exclusive features to airlines and passengers.