During the reveal at ITB in Berlin yesterday, Qatar airways showed a new economy class, but at the same time quietly published route updates that show the last A340-600 will operate on the Colombo/Kuala Lumpur flights on March 31st, with the final flight from Bangkok to Doha on May 1st.
All of these routes will then be operated with A350’s
The airline operates 4 A346’s at present which went into service in late 2006 through early 2007.
At the same show Qatar’s CEO Al Baker said that he was of the opinion the new Boeing NMA project tentatively labelled the 797X, was a mistake.
He continued to emphasise that the 788 is in effect the small aircraft everyone needs, Boeing just needs to de-rate it, lighten it up, modify the interior and down rate the engines and save themselves some money.
Meanwhile Delta Airlines CEO was urging Boeing to commit to the NMA programme as soon as possible.
Al Baker also said a few days ago that Qatar was to make a significant order for new aircraft at the Paris show this year, almost certainly for more 777-9’s to replace the A380’s.
Qatar’s financials are also under a little more scrutiny than usual as the airline is expected to post a loss for the year, largely due to costs incurred around the ongoing blockade.