16-Apr-2010 12:00 PM

Qatar Airways: New aircraft, freighter service and 35% growth

Qatar Airways CEO, Akbar Al Baker, stated competition is making the airline "grow faster" (Gulf News, 16-Apr-2010). Mr Al Baker confirmed plans to operate a fleet of 120 aircraft to 120 destinations by 2013, adding that the airline’s passenger numbers have grown 35% a year, with 12 million passengers in FY2008/09 and a projection to transport 14 million in FY2010/11. Qatar Airways has ruled out plans to launch an LCC until the budget segment affects its revenue. The carrier also has plans for a freighter aircraft operation. It has orders for 200 aircraft includes 80 A350s, five A380s, 60 B787s and 32 B777s.

Qatar Airways:Our expansion is phenomenal with ongoing orders for more than 200 aircraft worth over USD40 billion. Competition is making us grow faster and we remained undeterred with what is happening with other airlines … Let me tell you we don't fly anything but passengers and we are in great demand. The airline will operate a fleet of 120 aircraft by 2013 to 120 destinations around the globe. Also, we will increase frequencies in addition to adding more capacity with the introduction of bigger aircraft. We have been witnessing some 35% growth every year and we hope to continue to grow even faster with the addition of more destinations and more aircraft … We have finalised plans for the budget airline but will not launch it until we believe that other budget airlines are causing any damage to our revenue. In fact, other budget airlines flying to Doha are denting revenues of their own parent airlines and we are still unaffected. Nevertheless, our plan for the low-cost carrier is already ready and we have even decided its name. We will launch the budget airline but only at the right time … We have plans to create a fleet of freighter aircraft to operate a global cargo network over the next few years. The airline currently operates three dedicated freighters on selected destinations around the world,” Akbar Al Baker, CEO. Source: Gulf News, 16-Apr-2010.

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