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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

 The end of First Class at Qatar Airways?

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According to Qatar Airways’ chief executive officer Akbar Al Baker, the Boeing 777X aircraft would not include first-class seating, possibly indicating the end of the product on the airline’s planes.

Al Baker revealed to Bloomberg that the upcoming Boeing 777X aircraft won’t feature first-class seats.

Al Baker claimed that, given the caliber of Qatar Airways’ business class seat, known as the Qsuite, the investment did not justify the profits.

“Why should you invest in a subclass of an aeroplane that already gives you all the amenities that first class gives you. I don’t see the necessity,” he added.

Ten Airbus A380S and four Boeing 777-300ER are the only Qatar Airways aircraft with first-class seating. The Qatari airline only uses three of the ten A380s in its inventory, and one of those aircraft is now undergoing maintenance, according to statistics from ch-aviation.com.

Boeing has stopped producing the 777X, although it anticipates starting up again in 2023. The first 777X-9’s delivery date was earlier modified by the manufacturer since they thought it would happen in 2025. Al Baker had previously stated that Qatar Airways would be the first airline to fly the 777X and also serve as the 777X-8F’s debut customer in January 2022.

During the manufacturer’s Q4 2022 results conference, Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun gave an update on the 777X’s development and said that everything is on schedule for the plane’s certification by 2025.

During the Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference on June 2, 2023, Calhoun reiterated that he still feels “positive” about the timeline, stating that the “big hanging issue was EASA [European Union Aviation Safety Agency – ed. note] and the FAA [United States (US) Federal Aviation Administration – ed. note] agreement on the certification principles and design principles that were embedded there”.

“They’ve resolved that. It’s documented. So, now, we are marching down the path,” Calhoun added.

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