Qatar cuts fleet permanently by 25%

Qatar Airways is to slash its fleet by 25%, approximately 50 aircraft, as soon as possible.

Some aircraft will be grounded, but as many leased aircraft as possible will be returned to their owners.

The airline said it doesn’t see (other than by a miracle) how air travel can return to 2019 levels before 2023-4 at the earliest.

All ten A380 would be retired from 2024 under the original plan, but this might now be accelerated, while all 19 Airbus A330s are to be phased out by 2022, the were due to be replaced by A350’s and 787’s.

The existing fleet of new aircraft is likely to remain intact, but a cloud now sits over the 777-9, although as yet the airline has said nothing about what it will and won’t take delivery of, its not likely to want any new aircraft over the coming 6-12 months.

One thing that will prove valuable is a new alliance with BA (Qatar owns 24% of IAG shares and 19% of Heathrow Airport), where British Airways and Qatar sell schedules and tickets in a joint venture on routes to Australia via Doha. Australia recently approved the deal.

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