In an otherwise challenging year for the Gulf carrier, Qatar Airways’ cargo division has been a bright spot that keeps growing – most recently, with Qatar Airways Cargo taking delivery of another two 777 freighters (62771, 62772) from Boeing.
Qatar Airways Cargo indicated it would increase its 777F order with Boeing back in April when it signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for another five of the freighters from the three it already had on order. The carrier firmed up its LOI during the Farnborough Air Show in July. With this most recent delivery, Qatar Airways’ total freighter fleet is up to twenty-five units – two 747-8Fs, fifteen 777Fs, and eight A330-200Fs. However, three of the A330Fs will return to the lessor once leasing agreements expire in early 2019.
The carrier said in a press release accompanying its 2017/2018 annual report that the past year has been the most challenging year to-date for Qatar Airways, and attributed the US$69 million net loss during its FY2018 to Qatar’s blockade by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Negative effects Qatar Airways reported from the blockade include: a loss in departing passenger seats from blockading countries; the closing of eighteen established routes; and longer flying times. On the other hand, Qatar Airways Cargo reported a 34.4% increase in cargo revenue and a 14.0% increase in cargo capacity. The carrier’s cargo handle for FY18 rose 17.8% year-over-year, to 1.36 million tonnes.
Learn more about trends in air freight 10-12 October at Cargo Facts Symposium, where a roundtable panel discussion will be dedicated to the topic. For more information, or to register, visit www.cargofactssymposium.com.