Qatar Airways has taken delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX, with the aircraft having departed the United States (US) towards Doha, Qatar, taking in a stop-over in Iceland.
The aircraft, registered as A7-BSC, departed Everett Paine Field (PAE), Washington, the US, at 9:36 AM local time (UTC -7) on flight QR3180, landing at Keflavik International Airport (KEF), Iceland, at 12:47 AM local time (UTC +0) on April 14, 2023.
KEF is 3,641 nautical miles (6,742 kilometers) away from Doha’s Hamad International Airport (DOH), according to the Great Circle Mapper data. Boeing’s product page for the 737 MAX-8, of which Qatar Airways is taking delivery, shows the maximum range of the aircraft as 3,550 nm (6,570 km). Neither flightradar24.com nor KEF’s departure board currently displays the 737 MAX’s next itinerary at the time of writing.
The Boeing 737 MAX-8 was initially scheduled to be delivered to S7 Airlines, a Siberia, Russia-based carrier. However, due to the sanctions imposed upon Russia in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine, coupled with the fact that Russian authorities are yet to unground the 737 MAX, the airline was unable to take the delivery.
Qatar Airways is now scheduled to take at least eight more 737 MAXs, according to planespotters.net data. All eight were not taken up (NTU) by S7 Airlines.
“Qatar Airways recently had the opportunity to add a small number of B737-8 Max aircraft to its fleet in the coming months as it aims to add capacity to help drive future growth, especially in short-haul markets,” a Qatar Airways spokesperson said in an email statement to AeroTime on March 10, 2023. The statement came when a white-fuselage 737 MAX was spotted at Seattle Boeing Field-King County International Airport (BFI) with Qatar Airways’ colors on the rudder and winglets.
In early April 2023, the same A7-BSC was spotted landing at PAE from Portland International Airport (PDX), where the full Qatar Airways livery was applied to the aircraft. According to Boeing Orders & Delivery data, as of March 31, 2023, the Qatari airline has ordered the aircraft type on two separate occasions, totaling 30 orders. The flag carrier of Qatar ordered five 737 MAXs in December 2016, while in July 2022, the manufacturer and the airline confirmed that it had ordered 25 Boeing 737 MAX-10 aircraft.