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Qatar Airways may scrap first-class on long-haul flights

REUTERS/Murad Sezer
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said the airline is 15 planes short of the 25 expected to be delivered in 2023

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker says the airline plans to avoid including first-class seats on its future next-generation long-haul Boeing 777X aircraft.

The investment in the “most luxurious seats” does not justify the returns, as the airline’s business class offers much of the same perks, he added.

“Why should you invest in a subclass of an airplane that already gives you all the amenities that first class gives you,” said Al Baker told Bloomberg.

In March, Qatar Airways announced plans for rapid growth as the travel industry recovers from the pandemic.

However, the supply chain remains a big concern for the airline due to the parts shortages and rising backlogs in the production line delaying deliveries.

Al Baker said the airline is 15 planes short of the 25 expected to be delivered in 2023, referring to concerns over the Boeing 787, the Airbus 321neo and the A350 jets.

“What is happening is a vicious circle and this is the industry’s biggest challenge,” he told the newswire. 

“Our growth ambitions will have to be capped with the shortage of capacity,” he said, adding its delivery delays will be resolved before the end of next year.

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