Air freight will remain an important part of Qatar Airways’ total strategy, said Group Chief Executive HE Akbar al-Baker.
“As a matter of fact we are the largest freight carrier (minus Fedex and UPS) in the world for the last two years. And more so, over the pandemic period,” al-Baker said at a panel conversation with Guy Johnson, anchor, Bloomberg Television at the Qatar Economic Forum yesterday.
“We are really hungry for more freighters. Unfortunately, David Calhoun (Boeing CEO) cannot produce more 777s…the earliest they can give me is in 2023. And we are very keen to be a launch customer- be it for the Airbus A350F or the Boeing 777X freighters.
“At Qatar Airways, we will concentrate on air freight as an important part of our total strategy. But first, we are an airline to carry passengers.”
On net (carbon) neutral al-Baker said, “We are under a lot of pressure from our government to reduce our emissions and make our airline very fuel efficient.
“At the end of the day, it all depends on the engine manufacturers, but most importantly, also on the oil companies to invest in efficient technology that helps us reduce emissions.”
HE al-Baker touched on the reality of the global travel market in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the difficulties faced by the aviation sector, stressing the importance of controlling the pandemic through vaccinations so that conditions return to norm.