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Qatar Airways to Retire its Entire Fleet of Boeing 777s in the Next Three to Four Years

Qatar Airways to Retire its Entire Fleet of Boeing 777s in the Next Three to Four Years

A 57-strong fleet of Boeing 777s will be retired by Qatar Airways within three to four years according to the airline’s chief executive Akbar Al Baker who revealed the plans in a recent interview. The Doha-based airline currently operates a fleet of 48 Boeing 777-300ER jets and 9 long-range 777-200 aircraft. The airline’s fleet of 777 freighters will not be phased out under the current plans.

Baker also revealed that the airline’s fleet of Airbus A330’s, some of which are over 15-years-old, were already being decommissioned and that 29 single-aisle Airbus A320 aircraft are likely to be retired in the next few years. The chief executive said the planes were all set to be replaced by new and more fuel-efficient aircraft.

Photo Credit: Qatar Airways

“We are very conscious about our emissions and we are very keen to keep on introducing fuel-efficient aeroplanes,” Baker told Australian frequent flyer website Executive Traveller. “We plan to reduce our emissions and have carbon-neutral growth over a period of time,” he continued.

Last week, the often outspoken airline exec confirmed that Qatar Airways had no intention of taking delivery of any new aircraft from either Boeing or Airbus until 2022 at the earliest.

“We have already notified both Boeing and Airbus that we will not be taking any aeroplanes this year or next year,” Baker told a British news channel. “All the other aircraft that we have on order that was supposed to be delivered to us in the next two to three years will be pushed back for as long as nearly eight to ten years.”

Baker suggested that Qatar Airways could refuse to do business with Boeing and Airbus in the future if they refuse to defer aircraft orders on its terms. Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury, recently said some unnamed airlines were refusing to pick up the phone to discuss aircraft deliveries and legal action might be taken as a last resort in some cases.

Qatar Airways has 60 next-generation 777X aircraft on order with Boeing which will be used to replace the soon to be retired 777-200s and 777-300s. An unfilled order of 23 Dreamliner 787-9s may replace some of the airline’s older 787-8 aircraft. Meanwhile, an order for 50 A321neo aircraft from Airbus will replace the airline’s current single-aisle fleet.

Baker also told Executive Traveller that the airline was currently working on new seats for the 777X which may include a “very exclusive” First Class product with just four seats and marketed as a “very niche product” for ultra-wealthy “local” Qatari passengers.

If given the go-ahead, the product would appear on just a handful of aircraft and would be used on flagship routes such as between Doha and London Heathrow and Paris. In recent years, Qatar Airways had moved away from a dedicated First Class product with its ‘First in Business” full-enclosed QSuite Business Class suite.

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