Qatar Airways reached an agreement with Airbus to defer deliveries of the airplanes it has on order. Meanwhile, the carrier is still negotiating with Boeing, especially regarding the future of its 737 MAX order.
During the CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker provided details regarding its pending aircraft orders amid the crisis currently affecting the air transport industry.
The Gulf carrier reached an agreement with Airbus to delay deliveries of their airplanes. “Contractually we are having difficulties but they are very flexible with us, which we do appreciate,” Al Baker said. “We have the flexibility to bring forward deliveries if there is a rebound in air travel.” The airline has ordered 27 A350-1000 and 50 A321neo aircraft.
Talking about the situation with Boeing, Al Baker said negotiations were still ongoing. “Regardless how they feel, an aircraft manufacturer has to oblige their customers in difficult times,” he warned. “They can not only benefit from us in good times, they need to be on our sides when we are in difficulty.” Qatar Airways has 60 777X and 23 787-9 airliners, as well as five 777 freighters on order from Boeing.
Additionally to the COVID-19 crisis, Qatar Airways is also looking for a solution regarding the 30 Boeing 737 MAX it has on order. The planes were supposed to be leased to Air Italy from which the Gulf carrier has since pulled out.
“I don’t mix my words, people who do not oblige and stand with us in these difficult times, will not see us again,” Al Baker concluded on the matter. Those words echo the “word of advice” he had when negotiations were still ongoing with both manufacturers.