Qatar Airways brings 3 planes to Farnborough after record financial year
Qatar Airways took three planes to the Farmborough International Airshow in the UK and reinforces its strong financial performance and network expansion. The Doha-based airline flew a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, a Boeing 777-300ER and a Gulfstream G650ER into the Hampshire airport as CEO Akbar Al Baker fueled the rumour, suggesting another order from Boeing 777X was on the cards.
Qatar Airways takes three planes to Farmborough
The first of three aircraft on the ground at Farmborough is the 787-9 Dreamliner. Qatar Airways claims that this particular aircraft has never been shown at an air show. The aircraft entered service with the airline in 2021 and features the new Adient Ascent business class suite, equipped with sliding privacy doors, wireless mobile device charging and a sleeper bed 79 inches.
Qatar Airways’ distinctive 777-300ER aircraft is also landing in its special 2022 FIFA World Cup livery. Doha is hosting the football festival later this year, an event which Akbar Al Baker is hosting but also said he would push the carrier to its operational limits. He adds that in November and December, Qatar Airways will transition from a hub and spoke airline to a point-to-point airline.
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Interesting is Qatar’s third plane to fly to Farmborough. The Gulfstream G650ER belongs to the airline’s private jet charter division. Qatar Airways says the aircraft offers exceptional range capabilities, industry-leading cabin technology, fuel efficiency and unmatched passenger comfort. How well he does business, the airline does not say.
“It’s been a few years since we’ve been able to attend such an event, so it’s great to be back at this year’s Farnborough Air Show in our strongest financial position ever,said Mr. Al Baker. “Our record financial year with a profit of $1.54 billion comes at an important milestone for Qatar Airways, as we celebrate our 25th anniversary and look forward to bringing hundreds of thousands of football fans to Doha for the Cup. FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.”
Among the three planes Qatar Airways flew to Farmborough this year was a Gulfstream G650ER (pictured). Photo: Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways plans to increase 777X order
Meanwhile, while the airy eye candy garnered plenty of attention on day one at Farmborough, the big news from the Qatar Airways camp was that the airline was potentially considering upping its Boeing 777X order. The airline has 74 of the planes on order with Boeing. However, the 777X is years behind schedule and mired in production and certification issues.
“We are even going to place a larger order with them,” Bloomberg told Mr. Al Baker to reporters on Monday, without providing further details. Mercurial Al Baker is a specialist in throwing little treats like this. This allows the airline to grab headlines. The comment also acts as a jab through Airbus’ arcs. Qatar Airways is struggling with the Toulouse aircraft manufacturer for surface problems on certain Airbus A350s. In response, Airbus canceled orders from Qatar Airways.
Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways. Photo: Qatar Airways
While this might sound like a big win for Boeing – and the Chicago-based planemaker needs a few wins, Mr Al Baker’s comments should be taken with a grain of salt. Bloomberg also reports that Qatar Airways has quietly let a memorandum of understanding for 25 Boeing 737 MAXs expire. Boeing might have an advantage at Qatar Airways over Airbus right now, but the airline’s CEO isn’t doing Boeing any special favors beyond a typical Al Baker-style booster.