Qatar renegotiates Airbus deliveries while negotiations with Boeing remain ongoing

©Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker has confirmed that the flag-carrying Gulf airline has successfully postponed delivery of Airbus jets it has on order with the world’s largest planemaker. The deal is yet another consequence of the downturn in demand for air travel owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have the ability to bring forward the deliveries if there is a rebound in air travel,” Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker said of the Airbus deal at the CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit. However, he has failed to reach a similar agreement with America’s Boeing. “As far as Boeing is concerned, we are still in negotiations with them, but regardless of what they feel an aircraft manufacturer needs to oblige customers in difficult times,” he confirmed. “People who will not oblige and stand with us in this difficult time will not see us again.”

This latest agreement with Airbus comes on the back of comments made by al-Baker back in June when he advised that Qatar Airways would not take delivery of any Airbus or Boeing jets during 2020 and 2021, and that there would be a consequential knock-on effect as a result where future deliveries were concerned. Currently the airline has 27 27 A350-1000s and 50 A321neos on order with Airbus, and 60 777X planes, five 777 freighters and 23 787-9s from Boeing, according to the manufacturers’ respective websites. Qatar Airways also had an order in place for 737 MAX jets for Air Italy, which it partly owned prior to its collapse. Mr. al-Baker confirmed that these planes were also part of the ongoing discussions he is having with Boeing.

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