Qatar Airways plays a “very important” part of the country’s GDP, contributing 4.9% to its Gross Domestic Product, says airline chief HE Akbar al-Baker.
“Indirectly, we contribute nearly 11% (to Qatar’s GDP)”, al-Baker said citing an Oxford Economics report in an interview with Qatar TV.
“You can see aviation plays an important part in the nation economy. And it was aviation investment of Qatar that circumvented the blockade…when it was imposed on us in 2017,” al-Baker noted.
On the role of airfreight, the Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive said, “Air cargo plays a very vital role in our fleet. As a matter of fact the four aircraft that we took last year were aircraft that were ordered several years ago.
“Qatar Airways strategy is to be a very important player in the field of cargo. We were, already before the pandemic, the number two in cargo volume, and today we are number one. Only five years ago, we were in the number 22 position.
“So, you can see what an important role QR cargo is playing in the international arena. We today carry 10% of the total world cargo capacity. This is impressive. And as far as I am concerned, we will keep on growing our cargo business. For a small country like ours, taking a lead in the industry is unprecedented.”
Al-Baker said, “We will keep expanding the cargo facilities at Hamad International Airport. What we plan to do is to replace our current fleet of 777s with next generation cargo aircraft that will be at least 15% to 20% better fuel efficient in order for us to be able to meet our environmental targets.”
Qatar Airways, al-Baker said “is putting a lot of emphasis on our commitment to the emission controls that are going to be put in internationally and in making sure we are looking after the environment as far as CO2 emissions are concerned.”
Airline data show Qatar Airways Cargo serves more than 60 freighter destinations worldwide via its Doha hub and also delivers freight on the belly-hold deck of passenger aircraft to an extensive network.
The Qatar Airways Cargo fleet includes two Boeing 747-8 freighters, 24 Boeing 777 freighters and four Airbus A330 freighters.
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