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Qatar Airways: Only half their A380s returning to service – CEO Akbar Al Bakar

Qatar Airways: Only half their A380s returning to service – CEO Akbar Al Bakar

As part of the CAPA live event on 13 January, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Bakar confirmed that only half – that’s 5 of their current A380 fleet of 10, would be resuming service.

“The A380 is one of the worst aircraft when it comes to emissions that is flying today. That is why we have decided that we will not operate them for the foreseeable future – and even when we will operate them, we will only operate half of the numbers we have.”

“So, if you are very interested in some for yourself, I will sell it to you.”Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker

a seat with a small blue case and a blue case on the side

Before the pandemic, Qatar Airways were flying A380’s to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, as well as Paris, Frankfurt and London. Where these services have continued they have largely been replaced by B787s and A350s.

At its Doha base, Qatar currently has 53 Airbus A350 and 37 Boeing 787s.

No Surprise

In some ways, the retirement of most of the A380s is no surprise with CEO Al Bakar making the following statement back in February 2019:

“For the A380s, on the 10th anniversary, we will retire them.”

At that point, the airline’s double-decker planes were an average of 5.5 years old, so retirement has been brought forward by 3 or so years for half the fleet.

a glass of champagne on a table

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

Qatar Airways are my top airline to fly in Business Class on the A380. I’ve flown with them a few times between Europe and Australia.

As I have said before, the A380 is my favourite plane, and the configuration of the Qatar fleet, even before Q-suites, one of the most pleasant to fly in.

I mourn the loss of the A380 and fear I will not have the option of flying in one ever again, even post-pandemic.

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