5 months ago • 2 mins
What’s going on here?
Qatar Airways delivered some pitch-perfect results on Thursday.
What does this mean?
Airlines all over the world are staging a comeback after a few turbulent, pandemic-plagued years – and Qatar Airways benefited from all that momentum and another tailwind: the World Cup. See, acting as the soccer tournament’s official airline was a game changer for the firm, which flew over a million fans out to the event. And that amounts to a serious year-on-year bump, helping push passenger figures 71% higher than those racked up the year before. Unsurprisingly, all those extra fares led to some tidy takings too: the airline reported that its annual revenue came in at $21 billion last year, clocking up a record high.
Why should I care?
Zooming in: Strictly business.
Qatar Airways, often topping the charts in world airline awards, is planning a move that seems to run counter to its five-star image. While others in the industry, like Lufthansa and Air France, are doubling down on more profitable high-end offerings, Qatar Airways is planning to ditch first-class operations on its long-haul aircraft. See, the firm just doesn’t think it’s worth the squeeze, given the amount of space those first-class seats occupy. Instead, then, it’s planning to double down on its more popular business class (what it calls its “Q suite” offering) in a bid to fatten profit margins.
The bigger picture: Pie in the sky.
Qatar Airways isn’t just sitting pretty, though: it has plans to boost the number of destinations it visits from 170 to over 255. But there’s a hitch: the firm needs more planes. Legal tussles with Airbus and production snags at Boeing have been slowing things down. So, the speed at which these issues get resolved will determine if the airline’s ambitious growth plans are a real possibility or just a flight of fancy.
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