What do you do when you are one of the largest carriers in the Middle East with a globally revered product but cannot get along with enough aircraft to keep your operations growing. For Qatar Airways, there are about 20 A350 aircraft grounded at the moment due to surface-paint issues, and they have pulled out their A380s from retirement to replace some of that capacity. Their 787 induction plan is stalled as well, with Boeing unable to deliver any 787s to customers with an FAA embargo on further deliveries due to structural issues found on aircraft to be delivered to customers.
Qatar Airways to induct Cathay Pacific 777-300ER aircraft into the fleet
Qatar Airways has now uploaded flights to Male and Hong Kong from Doha, being operated by 77W aircraft, which have a First Class cabin for sale.
This is similar to the Cathay Pacific 777 configuration.
Jason Rabinovitz, who goes by the Twitter handle @airlineflyer, tweeted about this.
Is the @qatarairways Qsuite just not enough exclusivity for your blood? Good news, Richie Rich!
— Jason Rabinowitz (@AirlineFlyer) December 3, 2021
While Cathay Pacific is currently only showing this 77W service for February 2022 so far, it could easily be extended into the rest of the schedule as more updates about the availability of their aircraft come in. As per comments downstream, it looks like Cathay Pacific will be handing over four of their airframes to Qatar Airways (which is also a 10% stakeholder in Cathay Pacific), and they will be operating these aircraft without changes to the hardware on board.
supposedly 4 frames, with the first (B-KPM) already in DOH.
— VT (@lammified) December 3, 2021
So no QSuites will appear on these 777 aircraft; however, on the upside, some people can enjoy first-class travel on these jets. Cathay Pacific will only be too happy to generate some income from their aircraft, given they have been running vastly truncated operations in the past year and a half due to the pandemic.
NEW: CATHAY PACIFIC HAS 68 AIRCRAFT PARKED AS OF OCTOBER 2021, Vs. 89 PARKED IN JUNE 2021
— Danny Lee is on holiday (@AirEVthingTRNSP) December 1, 2021
Since Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker has insisted that the airline will not sell a premium economy offering, given they have a solid economy class product, the airline will be selling the premium economy cabin with a slight upcharge on these routes, with economy class service.
Qatar Airways seems to be leasing aircraft, four of them from Cathay Pacific, where it is a shareholder. These 77W will arrive in Cathay Pacific configuration, to be operated by Qatar Airways. The first one seems to be already in Qatar per social media and will be pressed into operations on February 1, 2022, for flights to Male and Hong Kong from Doha.
What do you think of the plans of Qatar Airways to expand on the back of Cathay Pacific’s spare 777 jets?
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