The Boeing 777X made its public debut at the Dubai Airshow this week, attracting praise from numerous key members of the aviation community. After being on display at the home of Emirates, the largest customer of the widebody, with 115 units on order, it flew to Doha for Qatar Airways to admire.
A hop along the Gulf
Qatar Airways has 60 Boeing 777X aircraft on order. While this is around half as many that Emirates has on its books, the figure makes the flag carrier of Qatar the second-largest customer of the jet.
After impressing the public for a week at the Dubai Airshow, registration N779XW left the UAE on Wednesday morning to land in Doha just 45 minutes later. It covered a distance of just 197 NM (364 km).
This arrival follows a 777X-related statement from Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker this week. He said that the airline is closely looking at the 777X to fulfill cargo requirements for the future. Overall, the company is eyeing up the chances of the plane joining the 30 777Fs already in its cargo fleet.
“After visiting the Boeing factory in Everett, Washington in September 2018, we had the opportunity to view the 777-9 up close in person, but today marks the first chance for the airline and our esteemed VIP guests to witness our significant commitment to this incredible aircraft here in Qatar as it arrives for the first time,” Al Baker shared in a statement.
“We are tremendously proud to be a global launch customer for this industry-leading product, and to be able to showcase our commitment towards continuing to support our thriving global network with a fleet that includes the youngest, most technologically-advanced and efficient twin-engine aircraft in the world.”
— Qatar Airways (@qatarairways) November 17, 2021
Al Baker added that performance is always the priority over price. With this in mind, he expresses that the product in development will outperform current models in the airline’s holdings.
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Qatar Airways expects to receive the first passenger variant of the 777X in 2023. Following a series of plan changes, Boeing determined that this is the year that it aims to first deliver the unit. However, schedules are subject to certification.
Overall, it was revealed this summer that Qatar Airways was ready to place a new freighter order. The carrier was also keeping a close eye on the progression of the A350 freighter during the same period.
With the 777X finally making its rounds around the globe and landing in the capital of its home country, perhaps Qatar Airways may have been swayed by Boeing. After all, Al Baker said that he received an attractive proposal from the US-based manufacturer.
Nonetheless, even on a passenger level, the airline will be glad to see the progress made with the 777X following timeline concerns over the last few years.
What are your thoughts about the Boeing 777X arriving in Doha? What do you make of the plane’s program so far? Let us know what you think of the jet and its prospects in the comment section.