In order to expedite and broaden its narrowbody rollover to newer aircraft, Qatar Airways (QR, Doha Hamad International) is planning to add nine B737-8s, which were opportunistically scooped up after their delivery to the sanctioned Russian carrier S7 Airlines became difficult.
“Recently, Qatar Airways had the chance to expand its fleet by a modest number of B737-8 MAX aircraft in the coming months. The airline wants to increase capacity to support future growth, particularly in short-haul markets. These effective and contemporary aircraft are a welcome addition to our narrowbody fleet as a fast expanding airline to support our sustainable expansion objectives as the top airline in the world “Doha News was told by the carrier.
At least three of the aircraft will be leased from Air Leasing Corporation, according to the advanced module for ch-aviation fleets.
Before the B737-8 was globally grounded, S7 Airlines received two of the aircraft. Its technical subsidiary Globus received the aircraft. Yet because Russia hasn’t completely de-grounded the type (apart from Belavia operations), S7 was given permission to return these two units to their lessors, Aviation Capital Group and Air Lease Corporation, in August 2022. Both of the -8 aircraft that S7 Airlines returned are still in storage (at Birmingham, Great Britain, and Woensdrecht), and they won’t be joining Qatar Airways’ fleet.
Seven B737-8 aircraft initially intended for S7 Airlines were acquired by Turkey’s AnadoluJet in 2022 from BOC Aviation.
With the B737-8, Qatar Airlines Group has a checkered past. It made a tentative commitment to lease 60 of them in 2016, and the remaining half of this order was confirmed with lessors. Air Italy, a subsidiary of Qatar Airlines with a 49% ownership stake, received the first five aircraft (although only three entered into service). Qatar Airways declared it will not require the type following the demise of the Italian airline in the early 2020s.
It cancelled the remaining obligation and gave Air Italy back the aircraft that had already been delivered. Qatar Airlines unexpectedly committed to ordering 25 B737-10s with an additional 25 options in early 2022, despite repeatedly rejecting the type in the months that followed. The agreement was finalized in July 2022, however it excludes any -8s obtained straight from the manufacturer.
According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Qatar Airlines currently has 29 A320-200s in its narrowbody fleet.