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Posted On: 14 December 2008 09:23 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Qatar Airways’ expansion unhindered

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Qatar Airways’ expansion plans remain unaffected by the current production delays involving Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft since the delivery of the planes is not scheduled to begin before 2010. “The expansion continues,” a source in the airline told this newspaper yesterday, clarifying that the first 787 Dreamliner the airline is to receive will arrive only in 2010. Media reports from Washington, meanwhile, suggest that labour problems are affecting the delivery schedule of Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Qatar Airways is one of the biggest customers of Boeing, the US aerospace giant. It has, in fact, placed firm orders, including options, for 60 Boeing 787 aircraft and they are to be delivered over a four-year period, between 2010 and 2014. In all the agreements Qatar Airways inks with either aircraft or engine manufacturers, there are safeguards against possible delays in delivery as there are clear-cut compensation clauses covering those risks. The airline’s existing fleet of 64 aircraft has four Boeing 777s. There are plans to expand the fleet to 120 to 150 in the near future. The delivery of Boeing 777 Long Range aircraft has also been delayed, albeit slightly, and the airline now expects to receive the first aircraft in January 2009, which is not far away. The airline is expected to launch its service to Houston once the Boeing 777 LR is delivered. As per the original schedule, Qatar Airways should have received the first Boeing 777 LR before this month. As for its current expansion plans, only last week the airline’s Executive Vice-President, Ali M Al Rais, hinted at a luncheon meeting that he saw growth in the North American market and added that the carrier was looking to add services to South America and Australia.