Qatar Airways restructures flight schedules during the FIFA World Cup

Qatar Airways will temporarily restructure its flight schedule to deal with the increase in passenger traffic expected during the FIFA World Cup in Doha later this year.

Group CEO Akbar Al Baker said in Doha on Tuesday that the company will restructure flight arrival and departure schedules to deal with the “massive rush” of travelers it expects during the soccer tournament.

“We have to withdraw from many destinations in order to reduce capacity and make room for others [airlines] He said during a final press conference at the annual meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

He said the company would also invite partners in which it has a minority stake to operate some flights on its behalf. Qatar Airways is the largest single shareholder in British Airways’ owner IAG and has also acquired shares in Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific, China Southern Airlines and Chile-based LATAM Airlines.

Earlier, Qatar Airways announced that it has entered into partnerships with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) airlines to launch daily services for FIFA World Cup ticket holders.

The sporting event will take place from November 21 to December 18.

Al Baker said Qatar Airways, which has ground many of its Airbus A350 planes amid a bitter dispute with the aircraft manufacturer, is working to fill its capacity needs from the aircraft leasing market.

“No manufacturer should ever be allowed to use their market dominance to bully their long-time customers,” he said.

Qatar Airways and Airbus are locked in a court battle over paint peeling of their A350 wide-body jets. The aircraft maker responded by canceling a deal for smaller A321 Neo jets.

Willie Walsh, general manager of Iata, said at the press conference that Airbus’ cancellation of that order was a “disturbing development” for the broader industry.

He said that after the dispute between Airbus and Qatar Airways, some airlines may choose to cancel their contracts when aircraft manufacturers are late in delivering the aircraft.

“This may present an opportunity for some airline CEOs who have commitments to aircraft that they may not want to take, and we will now consider a possible default on the part of the manufacturer that would enable them to cancel the contract,” he said. .

Updated: June 22, 2022, 4:53 am



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