Qatar Airways has struck a deal with European plan maker Airbus to delay the delivery of airplanes. This is because air travel is down due to the pandemic and is expected to stay the same for several years. However, the airline remains in talks with US group Boeing Co about deferrals, the airline’s chief executive said on Wednesday.
“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, without providing further details.
Al-Baker said the airline had not reached an agreement with 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 said. “People who will not oblige and stand with us in this difficult time will not see us again.”
However, in June the airline said that it will not take any new planes that the airline ordered from Boeing or Airbus in 2020 or 2021. Moreover, it is going to be difficult to place large orders for the future due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Order Placed by Qatar Airways
The airline has 27 A350-1000s and 50 A321neos on order, according to the Airbus website. It has also ordered 60 777X planes, five 777 freighters, and 23 787-9s from Boeing, the U.S. manufacturer’s website said.
Moreover, Qatar Airways had also ordered 737 MAX jets for its part-owned carrier Air Italy before its collapse and it is in talks with Boeing about those planes, al-Baker said.
The airline plans to fly with fewer passengers until around 2025.
However, it is going to be difficult for the airline that makes a lot of their money from long-distance routes. As the short-haul market for holidays and business travel is going to recover a lot sooner.
Other Order Cancellations
In July alone Boeing had 43 order cancellations of its 737 Max planes.
In April, Easyjet pushed orders of 24 aircraft from Airbus until between 2025 and 2027.
It followed a bust-up with the budget carrier’s founder, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who wanted Easyjet to cancel the £4.5billion order for 107 planes entirely to save cash.
However, the deliveries of jets were originally due for this year, next year, and in 2022. Both plane makers have now scaled back their production schedules. Whereas Boeing is retiring its iconic 747 jumbo jets by 2022. And cutting the number of 737 Max and 787 Dreamliner jets it makes every month.
And Airbus is planning to make just five of its A350 jets per month – down from 9.5 in April.
The planemaker companies are also planning mass lay-offs to counter the collapse in demand. They are also making cuts throughout their businesses.
Boeing is axing 10 percent of its 160,000-strong workforce, while Airbus is cutting 15,000 of its 34,000 staff.