Turkish Airlines has already acquired 737 MAX aircraft originally intended for S7.
Qatar Airways is planning to use the Boeing 737 MAX 8 for its short-haul flights, the carrier confirmed to Doha News, setting in motion moves to indirectly receive its new Boeing narrow-bodies from an order made originally by Russian airline S7.
S7 originally purchased nine MAX 8s for the oneworld Alliance member, however the sanctions brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have rendered them undeliverable, according to fleet data, reports said.
Now, at least nine Boeing 737 MAX 8s are scheduled to be delivered to Qatar Airways. The registrations as well as former registrations for these aircraft include: A7-BSA (ex VP-BXE), A7-BSB (ex VP-BXI), A7-BSC (ex VP-BXJ), A7-BSD (ex VP-BXK), A7-BSE (ex registration unknown), A7-BSF (ex VP-BXF), A7-BSG (ex VP-BXM), A7-BSH (ex VP-BXG), A7-BSI (ex VP-BXH), reports detailed.
In a statement to Doha News, Qatar Airways confirmed the new additions to its fleet.
“Qatar Airways recently had the opportunity to add a small number of B737-8 Max aircraft to its fleet in the coming months as it aims to add capacity to help drive future growth, especially in the short haul markets,” the statement read.
“As a rapidly growing airline, these efficient and modern aircraft are a welcome addition to the narrow body fleet to support our sustainable expansion plans as the world’s leading airline,” it added.
Data analysis revealed that Air Lease Corporation made the order for S7’s 737 MAX aircraft back in 2012. Even though the 737 MAX crisis halted 737 MAX operations and deliveries to Russia, the Russian airline received its first 737 MAX in the year 2018.
Despite other significant regulators having given the MAX the go-ahead to restart passenger service during the Covid-19 pandemic, the nation’s regulators took their time rectifying the type for service after the global grounding.
One of the first to approve the model was the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in November 2020.
By early February 2022, the Russian New Agency TASS reported that MAX recertification was “in progress,” but the government’s invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing sanctions would put an end to any hopes of the aircraft flying again in Russian skies.
When it comes to the Boeing 737 MAX, Qatar Airways has had an unusual partnership, aviation specialists Simple Flying suggests.
The airline had previously made an order for the type, with the aircraft going into service with Air Italy, a company in which Qatar Airways held a 49% stake. However, the Italian carrier eventually stopped operating, and the Gulf carrier announced it would not use the airline’s 737s on its own Doha-based flights.
Qatar Airways turned to Boeing amid a severe legal dispute with Airbus and the cancellation of its A321neo order. The airline announced publicly that it become the 777X freighter’s launch customer and placed a sizeable order for the 737 MAX 10s.
The airline has kept its obligations to Boeing despite having now resolved its conflict with Airbus and reinstating all of its orders with the European aircraft manufacturer.
The Gulf carrier is still listed as anticipating 25 737 MAX 10s from Boeing as well as its entire initial A321neo order from Airbus, reports gathered, though it is also plausible that the airline has since changed its agreement with Boeing and substituted some 737 MAX 10s for some abandoned MAX 8s.
Qatar Airways’ A320-200s are already more than ten years old and opting for the MAX 8 as replacements would come as no surprise. The airline has really declared plans to use the Boeing plane for short-haul flights, according to Airways Magazine.
Meanwhile, Turkish Airlines has already acquired 737 MAX aircraft originally intended for S7. AnadoluJet, a Turkish Airlines subsidiary, received five 737-8 aircraft in June of last year that were also intended for S7.