Home / Shipping / Aviation/ Qatar Airways chief wants to expand fleet, look for US investments

Qatar Airways chief wants to expand fleet, look for US investments


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Monday, 2 October 2017 00:00


Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker

EVERETT, Wash., (Reuters): Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said last week the carrier plans to expand its fleet, stepping up orders for Boeing Co aircraft and accepting four Airbus aircraft that it had cancelled in July because of delays due to supplier problems.

Al Baker, who spoke at an event in which he formally accepted delivery of Qatar Airways’ first Boeing 747-8 freighter, disclosed plans to acquire the four 777-300 aircraft, which can accommodate up to 396 passengers depending on the seating configuration.

In addition, Qatar Airways will order all 60 of the Boeing 737 airplanes for which it signed a letter of intent last year, he said.

Al Baker said in an interview that all of Qatar’s options and purchase rights for the narrowbody jets “will be exercised.” In June, Qatar Airways confirmed an order for 20 Boeing 737 jets and said at the time it was waiting on next steps in its possible expansions in Italy and India before deciding whether to exercise further options.

Last year, Qatar Airways signed a letter of intent for as many as 60 narrowbody 737 jets, worth $6.9 billion at list prices. Qatar Airways has pressed efforts to expand despite a trade dispute with US airlines that have accused the Middle Eastern carrier of improperly relying on government subsidies. Qatar Airways has also had to contend with fallout from a boycott against Qatar by four Arab nations that cut ties in June.

Al Baker said the plan to take the four Airbus planes “is definite.” He added he will be “concluding an agreement shortly, for which I will be flying to Toulouse from here,” referring to the Airbus site. Reuters reported earlier on Monday that Qatar would take the Airbus jets.

Al Baker separately told CNBC that he is still looking for investments in the United States, despite being rebuffed when Qatar made a proposal to buy a stake of up to 4.75% in American Airlines Group.

Al Baker had sharp words for US airline rivals Delta Air Lines Inc, United Continental Holdings Inc and American Airlines, which are lobbying the Trump administration to curtail Qatar’s access to the United States market, citing unfair subsidies.

The US carriers should “just shut up and mind their own business,” Al Baker said at the Boeing event news conference. 


Share This Article


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

Putting ‘Yaha’ into ‘Palanaya’ – could standards be the trick?

Thursday, 22 February 2018

I will from the outset indicate that this is not about politics, even though popular terminology cannot be resisted if one is to get the message across. We are driven by emotions and the media is only adding fuel to the fire. If one takes a step back


Back to business: Making people’s lives better

Thursday, 22 February 2018

“People are the real wealth of a nation. The basic objective of development is to create an enabling environment for people to enjoy long, healthy and creative lives. This may appear to be a simple truth. But it is often forgotten in the immediate


The President cannot remove the PM

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Following the large gains made at the local government elections at the expense of the UNP and SLFP by the Mahinda Rajapaksa-led SLPP, the pro-Mahinda Rajapaksa Opposition has been calling for the resignation of the Prime Minister on the basis of the


Ranil’s tactical success, Mahinda’s strategic victory

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Who will defeat the UNP? The people, with or without the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. That was proved at the local government


Columnists More