Qatar Airways CEO puts halt on aircraft deliveries until 2022, cancels order for 30 737 Max jets

©Qatar Airways

Akbar al-Baker has confirmed that Qatar Airways will be suspending delivery of all aircraft on order from Boeing until 2022 and that deliveries beyond that will be based on the knock-on effect of these delays owing to the effects on air travel resulting from the global coronavirus pandemic.

The Gulf carrier has billions of dollars’ worth of jets on order from the world’s top-ten planemakers, Airbus and Boeing, but instead of growing its fleet, it now intends to reduce it to approximately 200 aircraft. “Quite a lot of (deliveries) will be deferred. We have already notified both Boeing and Airbus that we will not be taking any aeroplanes this year or next year,” al-Baker said in an interview on Britain’s Sky News. “All the other aircraft that we have on order that were supposed to be delivered to us within the next two or three years, will now be pushed back to as long as nearly eight to 10 years.”

Al-Baker was also forthright in his approach to the planemakers, advising them that if they refused to comply with his wishes, then this would likely affect any future business, thus playing each of the two manufacturing giants against each other. “If they don’t oblige to our requirements, (then) we will have to review our long term business relationships with them,” he said, adding the airline no longer needed the 30 firm orders for Boeing’s 737 MAX it had placed. “We have already informed Boeing that we will have to replace them with some other type of aeroplanes … we will not require any more of the 737 MAXs.”

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