Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker says the Doha-based airline wants to add more freighters to its fleet since the air freight market is expected to stay strong following the resolution of the COVID-19 problem.
“We’re desperate for more freighters. Unfortunately, Dave (Boeing CEO) is unable to manufacture further Boeing 777X freighters. In an interview with Bloomberg TV on June 22, 2021, Al Baker stated, “The earliest they can offer us [the airplane – ed. note] is in 2023.”
Qatar Airways’ CEO stated in an interview that the airline would be “very interested” in being a launch customer for either the Boeing 777X freighter or the Airbus A350 freighter.
“We are very excited to be one of the first customers. “It doesn’t matter if it’s for the Airbus A350 or the Boeing 777X freighters,” Al Baker remarked.
Boeing reportedly began marketing a cargo variant of the Boeing 777X to the Doha-based airline in June 2021.
In June 2021, Al Baker told Reuters, “Qatar Airways is really interested in purchasing a large fleet of freighters because we need to start replacing our elderly freighters.” “We are highly interested in placing an order with Boeing or Airbus. Everything depends on how things go.”
Despite his desire in growing the company’s freighter fleet, Qatar Airways CEO stressed that “first and foremost, we are a passenger airline.”
According to Boeing data, Qatar Airways has placed 60 orders for Boeing 777X passenger aircraft. Many airline customers have been irritated by the 777X’s production delays and delivery deferrals.
The new passenger version of Boeing’s iconic 777 series will not be delivered to airlines until late 2023, three years later than the company had anticipated.