Qatar Airways has 30 Boeing 787-9 aircraft on order, and the airline has just taken delivery of several of these… surprisingly.
The airline has an incredibly diverse wide body fleet, as Qatar Airways already has 777-200s, 777-300s, A330-200s, A330-300s, A350-900s, A350-1000s, A380s, and 787-8s. It’s almost as if Akbar Al Baker is a Pokemon master, and wants to catch ’em all.
Why Qatar Airways’ 787-9s Are Delayed
787-9s were supposed to join Qatar Airways’ fleet in 2019, and the exciting thing is that these planes will feature Qsuites. However, as was reported back in October, delivery of these 787-9s is delayed.
The reason the planes are delayed isn’t because any issues on Boeing’s end, but rather because of issues with getting Qsuites installed on the 787-9.
Apparently the modified Qsuites that will be installed on these planes just aren’t ready yet. The fuselage of the 787 is a bit narrower than that of the 777 and A350, and apparently Qatar Airways is having to install a modified version of the product that accounts for the narrower fuselage, and the seats haven’t been ready to go.
Qatar Airways is known to be a picky customer, so it’s hardly the first time Qatar Airways has significantly delayed delivery of new planes.
Qatar Airways Takes Delivery Of 787-9s En Masse
Yesterday four Qatar Airways 787-9s flew from Paine Field to Doha, almost one behind the other. That’s pretty remarkable, as you almost never see an airline take delivery of four planes at once.
Rumor has it that:
- Qatar Airways will take delivery of seven 787-9s in the next couple of days, before the end of the year, so we can expect another three to fly to Doha
- These 787-9s aren’t fitted with the new Qsuites, so the airline will soon fly all of these 787-9s back to the US to receive their interiors
That’s all I know as of now. If they’re just going to fly these back to the US shortly, I’m not sure if there’s a reason they couldn’t just keep these in the US during that time. I’m not sure if there’s some technicality that the airline has to fly them back to their “base” for them technically to be taken delivery of, or what.
What’s The Motivation For These 787-9 Deliveries?
Obviously we don’t officially know the reason all these planes are being delivered at once, even though they’re not ready.
If I had to speculate, I’d say it’s probably because Boeing wanted these deliveries to be “finalized” before the end of the year. We know that Boeing had a terrible year, so I imagine it benefits them to have these transactions finished during 2019.
Of course that would seem to be Boeing’s prerogative — the interior problems aren’t Boeing’s fault. Whether that’s something that Qatar Airways just had to agree to, or if Boeing made some sort of concession to ensure deliveries this year, is something I’m not sure of.
Obviously there are a lot of unknowns here, though we do know that four 787-9s have been delivered to Qatar Airways in the past 24 hours without interiors. It’s rumored that a further three will be delivered shortly, and that these planes will then be flown back to the US to receive their interiors.
So unfortunately Qatar Airways doesn’t seem any closer to putting these 787-9s into commercial service.
While we don’t officially know the motivation for all of this, my guess is that it comes down to Boeing wanting to finalize these deliveries before the end of the year, so it looks better for their books. That seems logical enough…
What do you make of these Boeing 787-9 deliveries?
(Tip of the hat to Florian)