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The International Court of Justice has ruled in Qatar’s favor over an international aviation boycott enacted in 2017. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Ben Suskind)

Qatar Airways Outlines Fleet Renewal Plan, Set to Retire 777-300ER and 777-200LR Jets

Qatar Airways has announced its plan to retire and replace many of its existing aircraft in the coming years. Different fleet types will leave Qatar’s fleet in favor of newer, more efficient and exclusive aircraft and products from this year through 2028.

The airline’s announcement was led by a plan to phase out its entire Boeing 777-300ER and 777-200LR fleets by 2024. The jets will be replaced by the new Boeing 777X type as part of a “green modernization” that aims to replace the carrier’s current fleet with newer, more efficient airplanes that are both better for the environment and cheaper to operate than older aircraft.

“We are very conscious about our emissions and we are very keen to keep on introducing fuel-efficient airplanes,” said His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, the CEO of Qatar Airways Group, per Executive Traveller.

Qatar Airways currently has 48 777-300ER aircraft in its fleet, which will be replaced by 50 777-9s. The carrier’s 9 777-200LRs will be replaced by 10 777-8s, a slightly shorter but longer-range version of the 777X.

777 retirements will take place gradually over the next three to four years, but Al Baker says that his airline will solely operate the 777X family by 2025.

One especially surprising part of Qatar Airways’ announcement is just how new some of its 777s are. The airline’s 777-200LRs were delivered between 2009 and 2011, but some of the carrier’s 777-300ERs were delivered as recently as 2019, according to One Mile at a Time. This means that some of the airline’s newest 777-300ERs will leave the fleet after just five years in service. The airline’s older 777-300ERs will be around 17 years old when they are retired.

As it retires its 777s, Qatar Airways is also launching a new first class product on select 777 jets. The cabins, which will be “very exclusive…cabins of just four seats,” will be aimed at exclusive Qatari citizens flying to European cities like London and Paris. The product will be available on “just a handful” of the airline’s incoming 777-9s.

“We have huge demand here in Qatar to two or three European destinations, so we may introduce a very small first class cabin for our local passengers who want a very exclusive first class product,” Al Baker said.

Qatar Airways has also announced that various other aircraft will be retired from its fleet in the coming years. The airline’s Airbus A330s will be gone first, but A320s are being retired, too. Qatar Airways will release its entire A380 fleet by 2028.

John McDermott
John McDermott
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