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Qatar Airways To Lease 3 A330s

Sun Jan 11, 2004 12:13 am

from Beirut's Daily Star

DOHA: Qatar Airways said it will take three Airbus A330-200 aircraft on lease from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS). Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The first two aircraft enter service at Qatar Airways this month and next. The third is a new aircraft scheduled for delivery in June 2005.
Qatar Airways already leases an A320 from GECAS and will take delivery of two new A330-200 aircraft on lease from GECAS in the summer of 2004.
Qatar Airways is one of the fastest growing airlines in the world flying to 48 destinations and within the coming two years, it could rise to 60 destinations.
The airline operates 29 Airbus aircraft and is one of the launch customers of the A380 super jumbo. The airline recently signed a $5.1 billion order for 34 additional Airbus aircraft in a deal that will increase the fleet to 52 by 2008.
GECAS, a unit of GE Commercial Finance, is a leading provider of fleet, financing and productivity solutions to the global aviation industry.

I can't really figure this airline out. I guess the Qatari gov't is willing to lose millions and millions a year. There can't be two EK's in the Gulf, can there?
And wasn't there some talk on the board about how horrible it is to work for them? Any details on that?
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RE: Qatar Airways To Lease 3 A330s

Sun Jan 11, 2004 12:17 am

Are these the original Canada 3000 aircraft that had gone to Volare and are now going to Qatar?
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RE: Qatar Airways To Lease 3 A330s

Sun Jan 11, 2004 1:22 am

@AF022 - Well, it's not that difficult to work out really!

Qatar is a booming country, having just signed three multi billion $ oil & gas deals with western companies. The government is also looking to significantly increase tourism to the country, but looking for more 'up market' clients than Dubai is going for.

As things stand today, the airline isn't that big - 16 x A319/20, 10 x A300 (1 freighter) and 6 x A330 (plus 2 x A340 for VIP flights). They now have, I think, 14 x A330, 2 x A346 and 2 x A380 on order. They are rapidly expanding their route network and every flight of theirs I've been on has been absolutely full.

Qatar is not trying to compete directly with Dubai (they would lose), and QR doesn't compete directly with EK (except on DOH-DXB). QR's philosophy is direct flights to/from DOH, while EK is going after all the routes and traffic that's willing to transit DXB. Compare, for example, LHR-DOH; QR is the only airline that flies direct. BA is via BAH, EK is via DXB - nothing worse than going past your destination, only to have to wait in DXB (OK, there are worse places to have to hang around!) to fly back to where you want to go. Yes, from LHR you could also fly LH and KL, but again via their hubs.

There is lots of talk around here (for what that's worth) that QR isn't a great airline to work for. I don't know if that's true or not, but I can tell you it's a nice airline to fly.

Sorry for the rambling response!

[Edited 2004-01-10 17:24:12]
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RE: Qatar Airways To Lease 3 A330s

Fri Jan 23, 2004 6:29 pm

Last December , Japan and Qatar concluded an aviation treaty that allows a carrier in each country to operate up to four weekly flights between the two countries. In Japan, it was reported that Qatar airways would launch a non-stop DOH-KIX flights from the summer 2004 schedule in a code share arrangement with a Japanese carrier. Has anyone able to give the latest on this ? As EK's KIX-DXB flights have proved to be so popular that EK will utilize their latest A340-500 from the end of January, I would assume QR would be just as anxious to commence their service to the Japanese city.

And its no secret that EK is carrying an enormous amount of connecting traffic thru DXB and I would assume QR would do the same given the limited amount of traffic between Japan and Qatar at this point.

I wonder if QR is having a fleet shortage problem.
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RE: Qatar Airways To Lease 3 A330s

Sat Jan 24, 2004 12:37 am

I guess the Qatari gov't is willing to lose millions and millions a year.

This is one of my favorites, right up there with "XXXX airline must be lying about their earnings so they can screw the employees."

Qatar and EK both are showing very strong loads and yields across their system. Akbar Al-Baker has said while they aren't profitable now, they'd like to be soon.

QR and EK are distinctly different... QR is directly funded by the Government, while EK uses normal commercial means for financing.

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RE: Qatar Airways To Lease 3 A330s

Sat Jan 24, 2004 1:11 am

With the help of geography, both EK and QR have tapped into the home markets of airlines that don't necessarily do so well. In some markets, due to a demand for O&D traffic between their home bases and those particular stations, loads have been very high.

Consider the Indian subcontinent. Geography has allowed both Doha and Dubai to be points of transit on many routes going to Western Europe and/or North America. Air India, PIA, Biman and Royal Nepal have not been performing well, and in some cases have not been able to keep up with the growing demand for traffic between the West and the Sub-continent. EK and then QR have both tapped into those markets. What has aided them is that many South Asians work in the Middle East, so even without the transit passengers, the loads for ME-South Asia flights are quite high. Same can be applied for ME-South East Asian traffic, particularly the Philippines and Thailand.

EK has been aggressive in the Australian market as well, tapping the Australia-UK market. And EK is going after the African market as well. While the O&D traffic between Dubai and Australia may not be that great, making Dubai a stopover draw has filled in the planes.

The Middle East, despite being the hot spot for strife, also happens to be a geographically advantageous point to operate a global airline. With governments that understand the need to grow their states from just an oil depot has helped these two airlines become successful operations. I think they have both exploited their potential well, and there is no reason why they can't both be successful.
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RE: Qatar Airways To Lease 3 A330s

Sat Jan 24, 2004 6:50 am

I think that these new A 332s will result in the phasing out of 3 older AB6s which may be converted into freighters!!!

QRs A 332s are intended to fully replace all of its 9-10 AB6s of which some will be converted into full freighters.
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RE: Qatar Airways To Lease 3 A330s

Sat Jan 24, 2004 10:46 am

Also remember that ever since 2002, QR has been receiving a lot of complaints from premium and economy class passengers that they are very disappointed with the overall depleted product that their AB6s offer compared to their A 332s.

So QR maybe wanting to bring in these 3 new A 332s in and phase out 3 AB6s at the same time.
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RE: Qatar Airways To Lease 3 A330s

Sun Jan 25, 2004 1:01 am

I think you need to see QR as a Qatari investment; okay, so they're not making money right now, but if they were to make money, they'd probably have to cut back on routes and plans. The Qatari government presumably wants DOH to be a major hub and to raise the country's profile, so as long as it does so and extend the number of countries that can be reached from DOH, it's a good investment.

No risk, no growth. Qatar is a wealthy country and it has the resources to fund QR's growth. Perhaps many of those in the country's government know it may not make a profit for some time, but endorse and support what its doing for the country nonetheless.

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