(MENAFN- The Peninsula) By Sachin Kumar | The Peninsula
DOHA: Qatar Airways continues to march ahead with its expansion plans despite siege imposed on the country. The award-winning airline will take delivery of 30 aircraft from Boeing and Airbus in 2018.
Qatar Airways will take delivery of the first Airbus A350-1000 aircraft in the mid of February 2018, making the national carrier of Qatar the global launch customer for the aircraft.
'We expect the aircraft (first Airbus A350-1000) to be delivered to us between 15 and 20 of next month. We will be receiving 30 aircraft this year from Boeing and Airbus. We are not going to place, at the moment, any new order unless we do more acquisition of airlines during this year, said Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive, Qatar Airways, speaking with media persons onboard an Airbus A350-1000 test aircraft at Doha International Airport.
'For the time being what we have ordered is already in the pipeline. We have more than 300 aircraft that is still to be delivered, he added.
The airline remains unfazed by the unjust siege imposed by the blockading countries.
'We are marching ahead with our expansion. We have not slowed down. During this difficult times we have proven to the world that Qatar is a very resilient country and that all our plans for expansions investment and growth is going to be on track and we are not going to slow down in any manner, he said.
'We are receiving all these new aeroplanes at the time when our neighbours thought that we were going to fail. In addition, we are the first and the largest operator of the Airbus A350 family of aeroplanes. At the moment we are operating 23 aeroplanes of this type, he added.
The A350-1000, which is the largest version of the A350 series, will be the first Airbus jet to feature the Qsuite, which was unveiled last year. 'We have 80 aircraft on order of this type. We have already received 23, remaining will be received until 2025, he added.
Qatar Airways plans to initially fly its first A350-1000 on long haul routes before adding it to ultra long-haul routes in a few months time, in case of any potential technical issues with the new jet.
Al Baker said the airline hoped to take delivery of its first Boeing 777x by the first half of 2020.
'We are also one of the largest customers of X program of Boeing. This is an aircraft underdevelopment. It will be a game changer. We hope to receive this aircraft by the first half of 2020, he said.
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