Qatar Airways old new Boeing 787-9 begins service

Ryan Fletcher

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, registered as A7-BHA, has almost visited more storage locations than actual destinations in the airline’s flight network. Up until recently, that is. 

In early November 2020, Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9, registered as A7-BHA, began passenger operations and can currently be seen flying between Doha-Hamad International Airport (DOH) and Europe. For instance, on November 4, it is carrying out flight QR8858 between Qatar’s capital and London, the UK. On the previous day, it flew back and forth between Doha and Dublin, Ireland. The day before that ‒ between Doha and Brussels, Belgium. 

It was actually a quick hop between Doha International Airport (DIA) and DOH that marked its readiness for service on November 1, 2020. Officially, the 787-9 was delivered to the Qatari airline in late December 2019. The delivery of A7-BHA was fairly controversial, as the Dreamliner, in addition to six additional 787s, was shipped back and forth between Qatar and the U.S in December 2019. The seven wide-body aircraft were shipped to the Qatari capital and then immediately returned to the United States, namely Victorville, California.

There they remained stored until April 2, 2020. On April 3, 2020, the Dreamliner arrived in Doha only to be stored at DIA for another seven months, data shows. 

Qatar Airways has operated Dreamliners since 2012. However, until the A7-BHA’s introduction to service, it was only the smaller Dreamliner version, the 787-8, that carried the airline’s colors to destinations worldwide. The airline has 30 -8s in its fleet. Having placed its order for 30 aircraft in October 2016, Qatar Airways received its first (and so far only) seven 787-9s in December 2019. Besides the aforementioned aircraft, the other six planes remain stored in DIA. 

The reason why the introduction of the -9s to service lingered so long is attributed to problems with their interior. Contrary to the older Dreamliners, the new aircraft were supposed to be fit with Qatar Airways business class suites (Qsuites). However, there were reportedly some issues with getting the Qsuites installed, which prolonged the introduction to service. 

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