Qatar Airways Is Not Going to Take New Aircraft in 2020 or 2021, Claims CEO

The CEO repeated a warning to the planemakers that a refusal to comply with the airline's request might jeopardize future business between them

Qatar Airways is not going to take any new planes that were ordered from Boeing or Airbus in 2021 or 2021, the chief executive Akbar al-Baker mentioned on Wednesday, adding that there will be a knock-on effort for future deliveries because of the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic.

Qatar Airways has given an order of tens of billions of dollars of aircraft from the two largest planemakers of the world. But following a plunge in demand for the air travel, it says that it has no space for new aircraft and will instead shrink the fleet of 200 jets.

Qatar Airways Not Going to Take Any Planes

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"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 repeated a warning to the planemakers that a refusal to comply with the airline's request could jeopardize future business between them. "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 anymore of the 737 MAXs." Al-Baker also said Qatar Airways would continue to support British Airways owner IAG after increasing its stake in the airlines group in February. "It is a strategic investment. We will continue to be an investor in IAG," he said. "If it is necessary, yes, we will inject equity into IAG."

(With agency inputs)

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