Yesterday morning, Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker was on site at Boeing’s Everett, U.S., delivery center to take delivery of the carrier’s first of two announced 747-8 freighters.
During a question and answer session there, Al Baker said Qatar Airways would increase its 777-200LRF orders to seven total – an update to the four 777 freighters previously known to be on order. As to whether Qatar Airways will order more 747-8Fs, Al Baker called the newly delivered freighter “an introduction” for the carrier, leaving open the possibility that more 747-8 freighters could be in Qatar’s future.
Qatar Airways certainly needs the cargo capacity from its new freighters, as Al Baker said the ongoing blockade of Qatar by Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf and North African countries is actually increasing the airline’s freight business with a 160 percent increase in freight, year-over-year, for June. However, the carrier has no plans to cancel freighter orders even if the blockade is lifted, because freight capacity should be in even greater demand with access to currently blockaded markets, Al Baker added.
For more in-depth coverage of the delivery’s effect on the freighter market, please visit our sister publication, Cargo Facts: