Qatar Airways is committed to running a sustainable operation as it rebuilds its network this year following the downturn in passenger activity. Therefore, the Doha-based carrier is utilizing its full fleet of 30 Boeing 787 and 49 Airbus A350 while grounding its 10 Airbus A380 jets due to environmental and commercial reasons.
The global health crisis has rocked the aviation industry, with worldwide travel restrictions changing the way that airlines operate. However, as Qatar Airways rebuilds this year, it is keen to maintain environmental standards.
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The company is the first airline in the Middle East and just the fifth worldwide to secure accreditation to the highest level in the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Environmental Assessment program. So, the grounding of the A380 naturally supports the carrier’s vision as its fleet of A350 aircraft consumed 20 tons of CO2 less per block hour on certain routes compared to the superjumbo.
A word from the chief
In a press release, Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker spoke about how his firm has a strong record of industry leadership on sustainable operations. He said that his team takes its responsibilities to care for the environment seriously, and sustainability is at the forefront of its plans. The operator has an average fleet age of below five years. This is one of the youngest holdings in the world.
“Thanks to our strategic and diversified investment in our fleet, the viability of our operations has not been dependent on any specific aircraft type.” Al Baker said, as per the press release.
“This has enabled us to be one of the few global airlines to never stop operating during this crisis, carrying over two million passengers and in the process becoming the largest international airline in the world. Our fleet mix has enabled us to continue operating routes throughout this crisis ensuring we do not leave passengers stranded.”
No room for the superjumbo
The executive added that as his company rebuilds its network, passengers can rely on the airline to operate an honest schedule of services to take them where they want to go, using the right size aircraft to offer sensible capacity on each route. Subsequently, Qatar Airways will not resume flying its A380s until demand returns to appropriate levels.
On a typical one-way flight, Qatar Airways found that the A350 saved a minimum of 16 tons of carbon dioxide per block hour compared to the A380 on routes to London, Guangzhou, Frankfurt, Paris, Melbourne, Sydney, Toronto, and New York. Additionally, the analysis found that the A380 emitted over 80% more CO2 per block hour than its counterpart on each of these flights.
So, operating this widebody with a low load factor does not meet the carrier’s environmental responsibilities or make commercial sense. Al Baker highlights that the young fleet of A350 and 787 jets are a much better fit presently.
Across the fleet
This month, Qatar Airways also spoke about the highly-anticipated Boeing 777X. Once the jet is ready this decade, it will also join the two other types as the core of the widebody fleet. Meanwhile, from 2022, the Airbus A321neo will be the backbone of the airline’s narrowbody holdings.
According to Planespotters.net, all of the passenger variants of the Airbus A330 are currently parked. However, there are still many 777s operational. Additionally, most units of the A320 family are also in storage amid the current climate. Both A319s are on the ground, along with 16 of the 29 A320s. Also, three out of the four A321s are stored.
Altogether, it is a sensitive time within the aviation industry with several fleet shakeups. However, Qatar Airways is showing its determination to provide an efficient service during this challenging period.
What are your thoughts about Qatar Airways’ fleet for 2020? Will you be flying with the airline on any of these jets this year? Let us know what you think of the plans in the comment section.