According to media reports, Qatar Airways is set to resume flights to 11 new destinations including Beirut, Edinburgh, Bal,i Denpasar, Toronto, and Boston. This is in addition to the over 65 destinations and 430 weekly flights that the carrier currently operates.
The state-owned airline is also planning to restart about two-thirds of its pre-covid19 operations by the end of July.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Qatar Airways had plans to grow its fleet with the airline ordering aircraft worth billions of dollars. However, the carrier has been forced to change course due to the pandemic.
Just last month, Qatar Airways announced the postponement of the delivery of Boeing and Airbus jets which were due to arrive in 2020 and 2021, saying rather than buy new aircraft it intends to reduce its fleet of about 200 jets.
In an interview with Sky News, Akbar Al Baker, the group chief executive of Qatar Airways said: “We had bought it for a particular airline in which we had invested and we have withdrawn our investment from that airline, so we will not require anymore the 737 MAXs.”
Akbar Al Baker also said that the carrier’s recent announcement of plans to reshuffle its fleet and retire the Boeing 777 aircraft by 2024 and operate only the 777X by 2025, is part of a strategy to reduce emissions. The airline plans to procure 60 new 777X aircraft.
Currently, the Boeing 777 is the backbone of Qatar Airways’ fleet, with the carrier operating 57 Boeing 777 aircraft. These will be replaced by the Boeing 777X which is newer and bigger