Qatar Airways, which on average receives an aircraft in 10 days, is set to take delivery of 40 airplanes next year, a global record in terms of delivery of maximum numbers by any carrier in any calendar year. This was disclosed by Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive HE Akbar al-Baker at a function to announce the expansion of Hamad International Airport (HIA).
Up to now, the country’s national carrier has been getting on an average around 35 airplanes a year, which itself was high, he said.
“Next year we are to get more than 40 aircraft, this will be the highest 12-month aircraft delivery to Qatar Airways. I don’t think any other airline in the world is taking 40 or even 35 aircraft a year,” he said.
Stressing that taking airplanes at this very high rate does not mean that it is parking them, al-Baker said, Qatar Airways has the highest utilisation among any full service scheduled carriers in the world. Airplane utilisation is a key performance indicator for airline operations and helps in reducing costs per seat-mile.
Although the company has netted losses, he said higher efficiency and revenue growth provide cushion. Due to the blockade, al-Baker said, “we are on average flying 25 minutes more for every 650 departure and arrivals a day” and it will reflect the operational costs.
In its recently published annual report fiscal 2019, Qatar Airways had said it added 11 new destinations to its global route map in 2018-19, extending the presence in Europe, whilst also launching new destinations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
The year 2019 saw it further augment presence in Europe, with the launch of operations to Lisbon, Portugal; Valletta, Malta; and Izmir, Turkey.
“The Asia-Pacific region will see further growth in 2019, with the launch of operations to Davao, Philippines and Langkawi, Malaysia,” the report had said.
The airline’s fleet grew by 25 aircraft to a point where it welcomed its 250th aircraft in March 2019. With more than 300 aircraft worth more than $85bn on order (including options and letters of intent) the group has the capacity to continue its ambitious but sustainable network expansion strategy.
Its current fleet is made up of 203 passenger aircraft, 25 cargo and 22 Qatar Executive jets (at the end of March 31, 2019). The passenger fleet comprises Airbus A350-1000 (seven), Airbus A321-200 (six), Airbus A330-300 (13), Airbus A350-900 (34), Airbus A340-600 (four), Airbus A330-200 (seven), Airbus A320-200 (33), Airbus A319LR (two), Airbus A380-800 (10), Boeing 787 Dreamliner (30), Boeing 777-300 ER (48) and Boeing 777-200LR (nine).
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