Qatar Airways CEO said that the Doha-based carrier was ready to buy new Boeing 777X and Airbus A350 freighters.
The Doha-based airline Qatar Airways CEO said the airline was ready to buy Boeing 777X and Airbus A350 freighters before the end of the third quarter of 2021, chief executive Akbar Al Baker said as he reaffirmed his plans to FlightPlan III webinar in a pre-recorded interview, seen by Bloomberg on July 20, 2021.
On June 22, 2021, Al Baker hinted that the air carrier was keen to add more freighters to its fleet, as the air freight market is likely to remain strong after the COVID-19 crisis is resolved. During an interview, the boss of Qatar Airways indicated that the airline would be “very keen” to be a launch customer for either Boeing 777X freighter or Airbus A350 freighter if the aircraft manufacturers would make those aircraft available.
“We are really hungry for more freighters. Unfortunately, Dave [Boeing CEO – ed. note] cannot produce more Boeing 777X freighters. The earliest they can give us [the aircraft – ed. note] is in 2023,” Al Baker said during an interview on Bloomberg TV on June 22, 2021. “We are very keen to be a launch customer. Be it for the Airbus A350 or Boeing 777X freighters.”
Earlier in June 2021, Boeing reportedly began offering a freighter version of Boeing 777X to the Doha-based air carrier.
“Qatar Airways is very interested in purchasing a large fleet of freighters because we have to now start replacing our old freighters,” Al Baker told Reuters in June 2021. “We would be very keen to place an order with Boeing or with Airbus. It all depends on how things proceed.”
To date, Qatar Airways has 60 orders for Boeing 777X passenger aircraft, as per Boeing data. The 777X has been beset with production delays and delivery deferrals, irritating many airline customers. The new passenger version of Boeing’s popular 777 series is not scheduled to start delivery to airlines until late 2023, three years later than the aircraft manufacturer had planned.