With the Airbus contract off the table, will Qatar Airways be better off with Boeing as a new aircraft supplier?
Boeing Company is on the rise to becoming a new freighter supplier for Qatar Airways (QA) as reports confirm talks to take place between the two companies when Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani visits Washington, with a new deal expected to surface as early as next week.
Always keen to attain the next-generations fleets, QA is looking to place an order on the Boeing 777X Freighter, upgrading its existing fleet of 34 freighters.
The deal is potentially worth $14 billion, two sources familiar with the case have reported.
Recent disputes between QA and Airbus have cleared the way for Boeing to provide the state-airline with freighters, as Qatar is further considering the purchase of 50 aircrafts—the same amount of jets ordered from their former supplier before the contract was revoked.
In July last year, Boeing and Airbus found themselves in a competitive race when the airlines announced their willingness to put pen to cheque for new and larger freighters, should either manufacturer turn their newest models available into cargo versions.
Airbus’ A321neo vs. Boeing
As of now, Qatar Airways only has three Airbus A321s parked in its fleet. “These jets are the older -200, or ‘ceo’ variant, and average 11.5 years of age,” reports stated.
Further stating that the jets “are deployed on ‘skinny,’ lower-demand medium-range services from Doha and include destinations like Belgrade, Sofia, Istanbul, Colombo, Tbilisi, Medina, Larnaca, Baghdad, Najaf and more.”
“Mumbai and Athens are two examples where the airline [QA] would deploy larger, widebody jets like the Boeing 787 or 777, or Airbus A330 or A350 when demand allows,” the report added.
The now revoked A321neo order by Qatar Airways was not just intended for the renewal of the existing fleets, but also to provide an upgrade with greater efficiency.
The A321neo’s size is suited to carry 244 passengers to a maximum range of 4,000 nautical miles, the report stated, whilst Airbus’ counterpart, Boeing, cannot meet the national carrier’s needs regarding size the way Airbus would have done.