Qatar Airways confirmed it would be taking all 60 Boeing 777X aircraft that it has on order, but later than initially planned.
Qatar’s first 777X is now due to arrive in 2022, while the period of full order deliveries got stretched to 2029, the airline’s chief Akbar Al Baker confirmed to the AirlineRatings on September 8, 2020.
Al Baker has expressed enthusiasm for the new 777X, referring to it as “a very good airplane” even despite such drawbacks as the aircraft engine problems or the company’s financial struggles.
The airline’s chief was also pleased that Boeing eventually agreed to extend the 777X delivery period.
Initially, Boeing was not too keen to prolong the agreed date with Qatar Airways. However, the Gulf carrier had already struck a deal with Airbus to extend deliveries for 27 A350-1000 and 50 A321neo aircraft. And if that was not enough pressure for Boeing, Al Baker was also rather explicit about future consequences if the manufacturer had not been willing to comply with the airline’s request.
“Regardless how they feel, an aircraft manufacturer has to oblige their customers in difficult times,” the airline’s chief stated during the CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit on September 2, 2020. “People who do not oblige and stand with us in these difficult times, will not see us again.”
As of September 8, 2020, Qatar Airways has 60 777X, 23 787-9 Dreamliners and five 777 freighters on order from Boeing.