Akbar Al Baker, the CEO of Qatar Airways, has always been outspoken regarding decisions within the company and thoughts on specific areas. The outspoken nature has made the most headlines when surrounding the Airbus A380 series, an aircraft that was ordered and continues to be operated by the airline, albeit reluctantly. In a new interview with Forbes, Akbar Al Baker discussed the Airbus A380 and other key business decisions looking ahead and reaffirmed the general hatred for the type. When asked about the future strategy for the aircraft, it very much became evident that the carrier only operates the aircraft because it’s necessary under current market conditions. Additionally, as manufacturers battle supply chain issues and delays in deliveries are present, it becomes only harder to get high-capacity next-generation delivered on time to meet demand. The Airbus A380 is the world’s largest passenger plane. Thus, for airlines that can make it work, it’s the perfect option for the hub and spoke model for carriers needing additional seats. However, Qatar Airways’ love for the aircraft has never been all that present, with its CEO on a continued basis discussing how the aircraft doesn’t work, is too big, isn’t efficient and many other drawbacks to its flying. As most carriers did, Qatar Airways grounded the Airbus A380 during the global pandemic and was very reluctant to bring the aircraft back to service. However, as the company locked horns with Airbus over surface defect troubles with the A350 series and Boeing’s 777X continued to see certification delays, they were without as many high-capacity jets as desired. Akbar Al Baker says the Airbus A380s will remain within the Qatar Airways fleet until their replacements can be sourced. This includes additional A350-1000s and the upcoming Boeing 777X series. However, its continued operation is far from favourable, given it is an aircraft widely disliked by executives higher up at the airline. Qatar Airways has returned eight of ten A380s to service to help meet demand levels. However, instead of discussing its long-term future since its reintroduction, it became apparent that this was only a short-term solution.
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