Category Archives: Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways places a large Boeing order for 30 787-9 Dreamliners, 10 777-300ERs and a LOI for up to 60 MAX 8s


Qatar Airways and Boeing have announced an order for 30 787-9 Dreamliners (above) and 10 777-300ERs, valued at $11.7 billion at list prices, validating the value, reliability and performance of Boeing’s twin-aisle airplanes.

The airline also signed a Letter of Intent for up to 60 737 MAX 8s (below), valued at $6.9 billion at list prices.


This announcement builds on Qatar Airways’ current fleet of 84 Boeing aircraft, a combination of 787s and 777s, all delivered over the last nine years. With this new order, Qatar Airways increases its firm order backlog of Boeing widebody airplanes from 65 to 105, including 60 777Xs.

The announcement was attended by the State of Qatar’s Minister of Finance, His Excellency Ali Shareef Al Emadi, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken and the Ambassador of Qatar, His Excellency Mohammed Jaham Al-Kuwari.

Qatar Airways’ relationship with Boeing was renewed in 2006. Since then, there have been many milestones in the partnership. The airline was the first to operate the 787 in the Middle East and is a launch customer for the 777X. With the commitment for the 737 MAX 8, it would be the first Boeing single-aisle airplane model to join Qatar Airways’ fleet in more than 15 years.

Images: Boeing.



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Qatar Airways announced a major cargo expansion with a new Luxembourg base

Qatar Airways announced a major cargo expansion with a new Luxembourg base

Qatar Airways has announced it plans to become a major player in three new cargo markets: Transpacific, Australia and South America in the next nine months.

This major enhancement of the carrier’s network is made possible by the constant growth of its fleet, which now includes nine Boeing 777F, eight Airbus A3330F and two Boeing 747F aircraft, as well as the opening of its new European hub in Luxembourg.

The cargo carrier projects that its pure cargo fleet will grow to 22 aircraft by 2017 and from July 1, 2016, the carrier will double its flights into and out of Luxembourg providing better connectivity for its customers.

Qatar Airways Cargo will add Halifax (Canada) and New York (JFK) to its freighter network in July 2016.

Copyright Photo: Qatar Airways Cargo Boeing 777-FDZ A7-BFD (msn 41427) AMS (TMK Photography). Image: 913423.

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Qatar Airways launches its new “Going Places Together” worldwide ad campaign

Qatar Airways (Doha) on December 9 launched its new “Going Places Together” worldwide ad campaign with this new video and press release:

Qatar Airways logo

Qatar Airways successfully launched its new global brand campaign and tagline – Going Places Together – at a press conference in New York on December 9. The unveiling of the new campaign was well received by the international media and VIP guests who attended.
The press conference was hosted by Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, who said, “This campaign is all about the coming of age for this airline – taking a life of its own with a future that blossoms into a treasure each and every day. It’s about going places – literally and figuratively. We value each journey we take with our guests on board, and the overall experience of going places together.”

Top Video: Qatar Airways.

Qatar CEO Al Baker and model of the Airbus A350-900 (Qatar)(LRW)

Photo Above: Qatar Airways. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker celebrates landing of the first Airbus A350 in the US.

Drawing together a series of interconnected themes, the re-brand is a fresh and even more emotionally engaging direction for the airline, which has developed its messaging strategy to reflect its evolution as a brand and its global role as a leader in the airline industry.

One of the fastest growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world, Qatar Airways has adopted the emotive and modern brand campaign to reflect its core values as a contemporary and innovative company that is really going places and wants nothing more than to inspire its passengers to do the same.

At the heart of the campaign is the concept of the airline connecting people both physically and emotionally with any of the 153 places on its global network on board one of its 173 state-of-the-art aircraft. The theme of connectivity extends to the warm welcome every passenger receives when they board a Qatar Airways flight from the friendly and helpful cabin crew who are hand-picked for their natural ability to make personal connections with every passenger they meet.

The new campaign, which debuted in Qatar’s newspapers, television and out-of-home on Tuesday, will now roll out across global media channels including platforms such as the New York Times, CNN, Financial Times and Times Square billboards.The campaign celebrations began in New York on Tuesday when Qatar Airways became the first commercial airline to land an Airbus A350 in the United States. Qatar Airways was the global launch carrier of the A350 and is the first to fly the aircraft to three continents; the airline’s fleet of seven A350s currently flies twice a day to Frankfurt, double daily to Munich and three times a day to Singapore from Doha.

An eighth A350 will join the fleet before the end of the year and is scheduled to fly daily to Philadelphia from January 1, 2016. As further A350s join the fleet throughout 2016 passengers will have the opportunity to experience this new-generation aircraft on flights to Boston launching on March 16, and the new second daily flight to New York from April 1 and Adelaide, Australia from May 2.

Editorial Note: As previously reported on our World Airline News Facebook page, the first Airbus A350 departure from New York (JFK) was marred by an aborted takeoff (see video below):



Delta: Gulf carriers concede huge subsidies

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is striking back with a new rebuttal in the on-going dispute over alleged government subsidies between the U.S. “Big Three” (American, Delta and United) and the Gulf “Big Three” (Emirates, Etihad and Qatar). Here is Delta’s new statement:

Delta logo

Gulf carriers have effectively conceded they have received tens of billions of dollars in subsidies and other benefits from their governments. That’s just part of what the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies revealed Monday in its 400-page response to the U.S. Department of Transportation that disproves statements to the contrary by Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, and demonstrates real harm to U.S. carriers and jobs.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday, “The Abu Dhabi government last year injected $2.5 billion into Etihad Airways … in violation of air treaties with the U.S. government. The previously undisclosed cash injection is detailed in state-owned Etihad’s financial statements, which were made public on Monday by the Partnership.”

The article quoted Jill Zuckman, chief spokesperson for the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies that represents Delta, American, United and several labor groups, including the Air Line Pilots Association.

“Etihad’s own financials prove that it is not a commercially viable enterprise and owes its continued existence to massive government subsidies from the United Arab Emirates,” Zuckman said.

The Street on Tuesday also cited the Partnership’s filing when it reported on harm Gulf carriers are causing U.S. airlines and their partners.

“In four U.S. gateway cities – Boston, Dallas, Seattle and Washington, D.C. – the combined decline in the year after Emirates began service to its Dubai hub ranged between 8 and 21 percent,” the article stated.

Zuckman again was quoted: “Not only have the Gulf carriers failed to meaningfully stimulate new traffic, but the data clearly show losses — that entry by a Gulf carrier into a U.S. gateway city is followed by an actual decline in U.S. carrier bookings. The subsidized Gulf carriers are distorting the global marketplace, harming the U.S. airline industry and threatening American jobs and airline service to communities across the U.S.”

Open and Fair Skies logo

Click to view the Partnership’s complete rebuttal filing.

In a Q&A with Politico this week, Delta CEO Richard Anderson explained how long-standing U.S. trade policy is relevant to this issue:

Normally when you have a bilateral trade relationship, whether it’s for aviation or steel or agricultural products, two countries enter into a bilateral trade negotiation so that both of them can stimulate the marketplace and enjoy access and enjoy the opportunity in kind of a roughly equal way, both parties. Their economies end up improving.

In this case, it’s been almost all a predominant share shift away from U.S. carriers onto the United Arab Emirates and Qatar traveling over Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar to the Far East, to India and the Southeast.

Do you think it would be a whole lot better if we let foreign countries dump their agricultural products in here? Grocery prices would be lower, right? And why don’t we let steel companies? Why do we take any action? … And if we let steel in, General Motors’ and Ford’s car prices will go down.

That’s not been our trade policy. What our trade policy has been is to try to find that reasonable middle ground to make sure you don’t have any outliers in terms of dumping [because of] government-subsidized capacity. That’s why I think there’s a reasonable accommodation here with our government.

In January the Partnership issued a report illustrating that the three Gulf carriers have received more than $42 billion in subsidies and other benefits over the past decade from their home governments in violation of bilateral Open Skies policies.

The departments of Transportation and Commerce opened an official docket to collect public comment on the issue in June, to which thousands of submissions were made by the Aug. 3 deadline, including those by Gulf carriers that attempted to rebut, but did not disprove, massive government subsidies and other benefits.

Over the past several months an array of stakeholders including airline employees, mayors, governors, prominent aviation economists, business leaders, and members of Congress have weighed in, calling for the U.S. government to quickly open consultations with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to ensure Open Skies agreements are being adhered to so all airlines can compete on a level playing field.

Qatar Airways submits a “white paper” to the U.S. Government in support of “Open Skies”

Qatar Airways (Doha) today issued this statement concerning its on-going battle with the U.S. “Big Three” concerning alleged government subsidies and Open Skies:

Qatar Airways logo

Qatar Airways has yesterday submitted a ‘White Paper’ to the United States Government which fully refutes the subsidy allegations levelled against it by the Big 3 US carriers.

The detailed submission comprehensively addresses and answers all issues raised in the ‘Open Skies’ debate, which has put into question the longstanding US policy of allowing carriers to fly to and from the United States with minimal government interference.

The Big 3 – American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines (and their unions) have been pressing the US Government to depart from its pro-Open Skies stance and impose unilateral limits on the services operated by Gulf airlines, even though the U.S. Open Skies policy was specifically designed by the US Government to ensure that US carriers were free to operate their extensive networks without foreign government restrictions on the level and routings of the services they offer.

The biggest US carriers have made ample use of their behind-country (Sixth Freedom) traffic rights, and have fought hard to preserve their own access to those rights, and to carry Fifth Freedom (third country) traffic as well. Given that these policies were created by and for US carriers, it is ironic that they are now describing the use of these traffic rights to be “unfair” when exercised by Gulf carriers.

In its report, Qatar Airways demonstrates that the many of the market changes complained of by the Big 3 are not the product of “unfair competition” (or anything remotely related to subsidy), but are instead the byproduct of important advances in aircraft technology and significant demographic changes. With ultra-long range Boeing 777 and Boeing 787 aircraft, passengers bound for the Middle East and India can now over-fly congested European hubs, and enjoy convenient one-stop services to their destinations, instead of making longer two-and three stop journeys. These technological changes have shortened travel times, and have brought families and businesses closer together.

Qatar Airways also demonstrated that although US carrier market share to the Indian subcontinent may have shifted over time, the market as a whole has grown, and US carriers are carrying more traffic in absolute terms.

Qatar Airways also disproved the claim that its services harm any US carrier, noting that it does not compete against any US carrier on any nonstop route, and serves cities that have never been served by US carriers, such as Cochin, Karachi and Amritsar. In fact, the services operated by Qatar Airways benefit US carriers. Qatar Airways works cooperatively with and feeds traffic to US carriers, including American Airlines (its code-sharing and oneworld alliance partner) and JetBlue Airways. The report also proves that the airline’s operations to the US market have significantly contributed to the economy in terms of jobs, cargo and overall passenger traffic (tourism and business travel growth), as well as providing benefits for non-aligned US passenger carriers, cargo carriers and airports.

In addition to benefiting American travellers, Qatar Airways has strongly supported the US aerospace industry. As of today, the airline has 162 aircraft flying to 150 destinations, of which over 40 per cent are Boeing jets worth over $19 billion USD.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Mr. Akbar Al Baker, commented: “Qatar Airways was a relatively unknown airline when it first launched a service to the United States in 2007.

“Since then, we have built up a significant brand presence on the routes that we operate to the United States. Our passengers have come to know us, not through size alone, but by the signature service and quality of the product on board – and also the breadth of our network.

“There has been significant demand for our services from the U.S. not just to the Middle East – but beyond – where no other carriers fly. This makes us a natural choice for consumers, and is a reflection of how globalised our world has become. People are travelling further than ever before and it is important that in an economy focused on open market principles, our wings remain open for business, rather than closed.”
Qatar Airways also demonstrated that its services are lawful and consistent with the US-Qatar Agreement, which in Article 11.2 says that “neither Party shall unilaterally limit the volume of traffic, frequency or regularity of service, or the aircraft type or types operated by the designated airlines of the other Party.” Despite this clear language, the Big 3 are urging the US Government to ignore its obligations by imposing a unilateral limit on Qatar Airways’ capacity.

Other US airlines have noted that foreign governments often try to block competition from strong US airlines by challenging “excess” capacity offered by US carriers, and cautioned the US Government against deviating from a free trade policy that has worked to the overwhelming benefit of US airlines.

As Qatar Airways GCEO Mr. Akbar Al Baker observed: “The US Government should reject calls to “freeze” the US-Qatar Open Skies Agreement, and recognize these allegations for what they are – a transparent attempt by the Big 3 to block air services that compete with their own.”

Qatar Airways also examined and rebutted each of the subsidy allegations made, noting that US carriers benefit from many of the same policies they have attacked. Indeed, the claims of subsidy advanced by the Big 3 include items of support that US carriers have themselves received for decades, and items that have never been viewed as a form of subsidy. In fact, many other airlines (including US airlines) have acknowledged publicly that they and the Big 3 have themselves been long-time beneficiaries of subsidies and favorable US policies and support.

While Qatar Airways is used to strong competition, it expressed concern about the efforts of the Big 3 to persuade the US Government to refer to rules that do not apply to aviation to resolve their complaints. The application of WTO trade principles, and US domestic trade laws to these complaints – rules that apply solely to trade in goods – would be completely unlawful.

Qatar Airways GCEO Mr. Akbar Al Baker added:

“It is puzzling to see the biggest US carriers describe Qatar Airways as a “threat,” given our small size and lack of direct competition with them. Their long-standing focus on other markets, and large (and growing) profits completely undercut this claim. The Open Skies model was developed by the American carriers and has demonstrated how an Open Skies paves the way for an open economy. We are concerned to see the Big 3 seek to change the rules of the game as soon as they see US consumers respond well to the services offered by a competitor. Qatar Airways is proud of its signature five-star service, brand identity, and the high standards we deliver to our passengers onboard.”

Photo: Qatar Airways.

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Planely Speaking: Growing in the Gulf

Assistant Editor Aaron Newman

Assistant Editor Aaron Newman

Assistant Editor Aaron Newman

Growing the Gulf

By Aaron Newman.

A decade ago Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways were irrelevant. But these three airlines have become increasingly dominate on the lucrative international long-haul market, causing angst for western legacy airlines and their respective governments. For example, Lufthansa claims its Frankfurt hub has lost nearly a third of its market share on routes between Europe and Asia since 2005, with more than 3 million people now flying annually from Germany to other destinations via Persian Gulf hubs (

Growth of Gulf Airlines 1

This global turf war is only going to intensify as the gulf carriers continue expanding at breakneck speed. With hundreds of aircraft deliveries forthcoming (see graph below), Etihad, Emirates and Qatar Airways are destined to initiate new routes, utilizing a large order book of new aircraft scheduled. The major news outlets and our have done a great job summarizing the discord between the gulf airlines and their global legacy counterparts. I’m going to use this opportunity to tackle a different question…where will these three airlines expand to next?

Gulf Airlines Fleet Size

In May, Doha based Qatar Airways (below) made headlines, announcing it will begin flying to Atlanta, Boston and Los Angeles in 2016. Qatar Airways also said it will increase service to New York, adding a second daily flight.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/ Qatar Airways is the launch customer for the new Airbus A350-900. Airbus added Qatar titles to this test Airbus A350-941 F-WZNW (msn 004) pictured at Farnborough.


In late March, Emirates surprised the industry, announcing new daily service from Orlando (MCO) to Dubai beginning Sept. 2015.


Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best/ Etihad Airways Airbus A380-861 A6-APA (msn 166) departs from London (Heathrow).

And Etihad Airways (above), just finished a six city expansion in the beginning half of 2015 to; Algiers, Edinburgh, Entebbe, Hong Kong, Kolkata and Madrid. Looking at the charts above, it’s easy to see that additional future growth is inevitable. Adding frequencies, upgauging aircraft and expanding to new cities such as the ones listed below is bound to happen given these airlines current trajectories.

Mexico City, Mexico (MEX)

With a population of nearly 22 million people and one of the most important financial centers in Latin America, I foresee a gulf carrier announcing new service shortly before their new international airport is set to open in 2018. Given the distance from the Persian Gulf, this route may need a European stopover city to make this and other Latin America cities work in the future.

Vancouver, Canada (YVR)

A major gateway for pan-pacific trade, Vancouver offers the international diversity and business climate that the gulf carriers are attracted to. Emirates expressed interest in serving Vancouver in years past, those talks quickly diminished after Air Canada expressed concern. If discussions between the Canadian government and gulf carriers were to reignite, Vancouver would be a high priority for any gulf airline.

Sapporo, Japan (CTS)

Japan’s fourth largest city and the largest city on the northern island of Hokkaido; Sapporo’s airport has largely been underserved by airlines outside of the major East Asian hubs (Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Beijing). Alternatively, Fukuoka (FUK) would also be a viable option for a gulf carrier looking to add routes in Japan.

Stuttgart, Germany (STR)

Emirates has been working hard to make this route a reality, however, the German government is currently limiting the number of routes from gulf carriers into Germany in an effort to protect national carrier, Lufthansa. If the German government ever reconsiders, this will give Stuttgart a much needed long-haul route heading east. Berlin is a potential growth target as well, but I do not see this as a possibility until the completion of the delayed Brandenburg airport—currently scheduled for 2018.

Helsinki, Finland (HEL)

Finland’s largest city and capital, Helsinki offers the large population and thriving economy to make this route work. Competition from state-owned Finnair and the fast growing Norwegian Air Shuttle may be a deterrent to this route. I foresee Qatar Airways being the first airline to launch this route given the mutual Oneworld membership with Finnair.

London Stansted, UK (STN)

A stronghold for the UK’s low-cost airlines, Stansted’s owners and operators, Manchester Airports Group strongly desire to diversify by adding a full-service airline. About 6.7 million people live within a 1-hour drive of Stansted and 12 million within 2 hours. With slot restrictions at Heathrow and Gatwick, could this be a viable option to add frequencies into the London metro area?

Xi’an, China (XIY)

Xi’an’s pillar industries; equipment manufacturing, software development, aerospace technology, and high tech R&D are driving a blossoming economy in Xi’an. This route prediction may be a bit premature, however, gulf carriers will continue to tap into China’s growing middle class and flying to secondary Chinese cities. Chongqing, Wuhan, Xiamen, Kunming, and Qingdao should all be considered as future options.

Detroit, MI (DTW)

Detroit’s automotive industry supplies a large amount of lucrative business travel between Asia and the United States, Detroit also has about 400,000 residents of Middle East origin, the highest total for any U.S. city, with many from Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen. However, this route would be in direct competition with Delta and Skyteam members Air France and KLM. Has this competition kept these three airlines from stepping in?

Bamako, Mali (BKO)

Bamako’s annual growth rate is hovering around 4.5%, which makes it the sixth-fastest-growing city in the world, and the fastest on the African continent. African cities like Bamako have become important for gulf carriers because of their location between the continent and Asia, which are developing commercial links. While few Africa-Asia routes generate enough traffic for direct flights, Persian Gulf carriers can funnel small numbers of people from many places through the airlines’ hubs.

My list above is purely speculation from an industry enthusiast, but I’d also like to hear your thoughts below in the comments section. Where do you see or where do you want to see these airlines expanding to in the future and why?

Qatar Airways announces the seventh flight to London Heathrow

Qatar Airways (Doha) continues to expand. Starting on October 25, the fast-growing Gulf carrier is increasing the weekly frequencies on the Doha – London (Heathrow) route from 42 weekly flight to 46 weekly flights, meaning it will operate seven flights a day on key days of the week. This includes double-daily Airbus A380 (above) operations on the route.

Qatar Airways logo

In other news, on July 1 Qatar Airways launched its second new destination of the year, touching down in the Spice Island of Zanzibar. Zanzibar is the airline’s third route in Tanzania, following Dar-es-Salaam and Kilimanjaro.

Qatar Airways will initially operate five weekly flights to Zanzibar via Kilimanjaro, and commencing October 1, 2015, the airline will offer an additional two weekly flights making it a daily operation. Out of the daily flights from October, passengers will be able to fly nonstop to Zanzibar three-times-a-week and on a linked flight via Kilimanjaro four-times-a-week.

Qatar Airways is operating an Airbus A320 in a two-class configuration on the Zanzibar-Doha route, with 12 seats in Business Class and up to 132 seats in Economy.

Additionally the flag carrier has announced network frequency increases to multiple destinations across its global network.

The national airline is adding frequencies to its popular routes – Dubai (UAE), Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Peshawar (Pakistan), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Belgrade (Serbia), Sofia (Bulgaria), Asmara (Eritrea), Djibouti (Djibouti), Najaf (Iraq), Luxor (Egypt), Salalah (Oman) and Zanzibar (Tanzania) all of which are launching over the coming months.

From July 16, Qatar Airways will increase its frequency on the Doha – Dubai route with one additional daily flight, taking its capacity up to 15 services a day to Dubai International Airport (DXB), which also takes the total frequency to DXB and DWC to 19 flights a day. Dubai has the highest frequency in the airline’s route network and this popular Gulf destination is currently served 126 times a week.

Flights to destinations in the Middle East has also increased with an additional daily flight during Ramadan to Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; from June 18, services to Jeddah have risen from double-daily flights to triple-daily flights.

The third daily flight to Jeddah is being operated with an all-premium First Class service. The Airbus A319 aircraft fitted with an all First Class, single aisle, 2–2 seating configuration with 40 seats.

Qatar Airways will also be strengthening its commitment to Pakistan. After the recent announcement to launch flights to three new destinations (Sialkot, Faisalabad and Multan), the airline is expanding further in Pakistan with Peshawar moving from three weekly flights to daily flights effective from October 1.

The popular Far East destination of Kuala Lumpur, which is currently served 21 times-a-week, will have three additional flights from July 2 to August 29, helping to supplement busy travel demands during this summer season.

The Sofia-Belgrade linked route, which is currently served with five flights a week, will see an increase to daily flights when it adds two more flights commencing July 2.

Starting from July 1, Qatar Airways will initially operate five weekly flights to Zanzibar via Kilimanjaro, and commencing October 1, the airline will offer an additional two weekly flights making it a daily operation to Zanzibar. Out of the daily flights from October, passengers will be able to fly non-stop to Zanzibar three-times-a-week and on a linked flight via Kilimanjaro four-times-a-week.

Expansion in Africa includes one additional weekly flight to both Asmara and Djibouti from July 1 and July 3 respectively. Service to Luxor in Egypt will increase with one more weekly flight effective from November 1, 2015 to March 20, 2016.

Najaf in Iraq will be operated with two additional weekly flights from July 15 taking its frequency to 10 weekly flights. From September 18, four additional weekly flights will be launched to Najaf making it a double-daily operation.

In addition, Qatar Airways will operate three more weekly flights to popular tourist destination Salalah from October 6.

The airline now serves 147 worldwide destinations with 161 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: SPA/ Qatar Airways’ Airbus A380-861 A7-APA (msn 137) climbs majestically away from the runway at London’s Heathrow Airport.

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