At a media briefing during the Paris Air Show 2023, Qatar Airways’ Chief Executive detailed the airline’s plans for its Airbus A380s, which the airline grounded and then reintroduced following the return of demand for air travel.
According to Akbar Al Baker, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Airways, the airline‘s fleet of Airbus A380s will be phased out once the European plane maker delivers the A350 aircraft. However, a caveat showed that, following the two sides’ dispute regarding the premature wear of Qatar Airways’ Airbus A350s’ paint surfaces, which was settled out of court in February 2023, the airline lost its delivery slots for both the A321neo and A350.
Currently, the Qatari carrier flies eight out of its 10 Airbus A380s, with no plans to restore the remaining two back to service.
Al Baker added that 18 A350s out of a total of 23, which Airbus added back to its Orders & Deliveries filings on February 1, 2023, should be delivered from 2025 onwards. The executive also noted that the relationship between the airline and the manufacturer has improved since resolving the dispute.
Qatar Airways currently operates a fleet of 34 Airbus A350-900 and 21 A350-1000 aircraft, with 21 deliveries of the latter type still to be fulfilled by Airbus, according to ch-aviation.com data.
In addition to the Airbus wide-body jets, Qatar Airways anticipates that Boeing will begin delivering the 777X-9 in 2025, but that timeline is dependent on the certification of the aircraft. According to the manufacturer’s executives, who spoke during the Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference in early June 2023, the plan is to introduce the 777X in 2025.
During the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Istanbul, Turkey, Al Baker told Bloomberg that he does not see any necessity to include First Class seats on the airline’s upcoming 777X aircraft.