Qatar Airways fires shots at Emirates after it resumes A380 ops

Noushad Thekkayil /

After the International Court of Justice (ICJ) of the United Nations (UN) ruled in favor of Qatar in its conflict with neighboring countries, the Qatari flag carrier issued a press release that seemingly targeted Emirates, the United Arab Emirates-based airline.

Qatar Airways stated that it is utilizing its fleet of Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 aircraft, while it has grounded its Airbus A380 due to “environmental and commercial reasons.”

“Benchmark figures identified that Qatar Airways’ fleet of A350 aircraft consumed 20 tonnes of CO2 less per block hour on certain routes compared to the A380,” stated the Doha-based airline.

The news comes shortly after the ICJ, the top court of the United Nations, ruled in favor of Qatar in its conflict with several Middle Eastern countries, including the United Arab Emirates. The decision to blockade Qatar and disallow aircraft, registered in the country, to bypass the airspace of the disputing countries was ruled illegal by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) council.

The same day, Emirates resumed its Airbus A380 services to London Heathrow Airport (LHR) and Paris Charles De Gaulle International Airport (CDG). The Dubai-based airline’s fleet of Super Jumbos have been stored since March 2020.

“As a result, we will not resume flying our fleet of A380 until demand returns to appropriate levels. Having closely studied the environmental impact numbers, flying such a large aircraft with a low load factor does not meet our environmental responsibilities or make commercial sense,” commented Akbar al Baker, the chief executive of Qatar Airways.

In addition, Qatar Airways will seek financial compensation for the damages it incurred during the three-year blockade.


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