Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Qatar Airways reports massive losses.

Doha based Qatar Airways has just endured the most challenging year in its 20-year history and blames a mega loss of 252 million riyals on the diplomatic and physical blockade by four of its Arabic neighbours. 

The mega airline has been banned from flying to Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain since 2017, halting 18 of its popular high revenue routes as well as the four nations closing their airspace to Qatar Airways flights.  

To counterbalance the loss of those routes, Qatar Airways has opened 14 new routes during the last fiscal year, (24 in total since the start of the blockade) which come with launch costs and the necessity to establish market presence, which resulted in an overall net loss of 252 million as detailed in the airlines' recent annual report, issued earlier this week. 

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive,  Akbar Al Baker, said: “This turbulent year has inevitably had an impact on our financial results, which reflect the negative effect the illegal blockade has had on our airline. However, I am pleased to say that thanks to our robust business planning, swift actions in the face of the crisis, our passenger-focused solutions and dedicated staff, the impact has been minimised – and has certainly not been as negative as our neighbouring countries may have hoped for.”

New cargo aircraft...

Despite the local and regional tensions, Qatar Airways has continued with its expansion programme, in February 2018 it became the first airline in the world to take delivery of the Airbus A350-1000 aircraft. The carrier has added 20 other aircraft to the fleet throughout the financial year, increasing the total number to 213 (as of 31 March 2018).

Indeed on Tuesday that development took the next step as the airline took delivery of two Boeing 777 Freighters, at the Boeing Everett base in Washington.  On hand for the delivery and touring the Boeing campus was Akbar Al Baker and other dignitaries from the airline who were given an insight into the US manufacturers latest development, the 777X.

“Our relationship with Boeing is testament to the fact that Qatar Airways is continuing to grow at a record pace. We are tremendously proud of our relationship with Boeing, and our visit is further evidence of our commitment to expanding our fleet to include the most technologically advanced and efficient aircraft on the market. We are especially pleased to have had this opportunity to view the Boeing 777X, and are very proud to be a global launch customer for this product.” Mr Akbar Al Baker said:

Boeing Commercial Aeroplanes President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Kevin McAllister, said: “Boeing is proud of its long-standing relationship with Qatar Airways and the confidence that the airline has consistently shown in our aircraft. We are honoured to host Qatar Airways at the Everett factory and to have the opportunity to share an up-close look at the 777X, which will be the largest and most efficient twin-engine jet in the world when it enters revenue service in 2020.” 

Qatar Airways was the first airline to operate the Boeing 787 in the Middle East. In 2016, the airline placed a record $18.6 billion order for 30 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and 10 777-300ERs.

(Photos Qatar Airways)