Qatar Airways plans to open a further 10 new routes this year as it continues to expand its network in defiance of a blockade of its home base by Gulf neighbours.
Qatar chief executive Akbar Al Baker revealed the plans Monday after the launch of airline’s latest new route to the Australian capital of Canberra and said the airline would begin revealing names from next month.
AAB also stated that even though the current blockade was not significantly affecting its routes, it has made an impact on its bottomline and they are expected to make a loss this year
The blockade has not significantly affected the airline’s routes to Europe and Australia, where Al Baker estimates it adds 10 to 15 minutes flying time.
But it has taken its toll on the Qatar’s bottom line and he told reporters in Canberra it was poised to announce a loss.
This comes after Qatar produced its best annual results in its history in 2017 with a $US5414m profit, up 21.7 percent on the previous year.
“Qatar Airways will announce a loss because I lost mature destinations,’’ Al Baker said, noting the mature routes were being replaced with growth destinations such as Canberra that would not immediately make money.
On the Qsuites, 14 of 56 777's so far have the new Qsuites installed, all 777's will have Qsuites in about 18 months time. QR is also working on a variation to the QSuites for the A388 and 787 fleets. It is expected they will feature on the 787 first then retrofitted onto the A380's
he said it would not be installed on the airlines A380s because of the curvature of the fuselage on the superjumbo’s upper deck or on its B787-9s because this would require the seat to be narrowed.
Instead, it is developing a new suite for the 787s which would have full privacy and would “not be very far away from the Qsuite” but would not allow four seats to be joined to create a “quad” family area.
“And then they will be retrofitted into the A380,’’ Al Baker said “So the A380 product will again by upgraded to full privacy.”
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