Sunday, November 18, 2007

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways's order of 30 Boeing 787-800s + 5 Boeing 777-200LR Freighters + 20 options for the B 787 family line.

Analysis :

This order was arguably the worst kept secret in the airline industry for nearly a year and finally at the DXB 2007 air show, it was officially announced much to Boeing's joy. Unlike EK's A 350 order which will largely replace an already existing aging fleet, QR's order on the other hand for the B 788s is three fold. Some of the B 788s will indeed eventually replace the oldest A 332s from 2013 onwards but will largely cater to future expansion as well as provide a "stop gap capacity" measure for 2-4 years until their A 350s start arriving.

By ordering the B 788, new 'medium density' long haul routes can now be flown nonstop from its DOH hub which do not need the excess capacity offered by their A 346 nor B 773ER. Routes that come to mind are DOH-PER nonstop, DOH-ORD nonstop, DOH-YYZ nonstop, DOH-IAH nonstop and DOH-GIG nonstop. However, one feels that a majority of routes that the B 788 will be used for are regional routes within the Middle East and Indian subcontinent region + routes to Europe where the seating capacity of the A 332 is found to be a bit high!

Another smart order placed by it was for 5 B 772LR freighters. Unlike the world passenger market which sees a high and low seas on, the world cargo market is supposedly always in high season mode as its business revolves around 'world trade'. The location of QR's DOH hub i.e. in between Europe/Africa and Far East Asia, provides QR Cargo with the ideal set up to tap an ever growing market by air lifting freight from one corner of the world to the other.

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