Qatar Airways forced to delay Airbus deliveries amid travel downturn

Qatar Airways has urged Boeing to follow suit in delaying plane deliveries. (AFP)
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Updated 02 September 2020

Qatar Airways forced to delay Airbus deliveries amid travel downturn

  • Airline can bring forward Airbus deliveries if market rebounds

SYDNEY: Qatar Airways has struck a deal with Airbus to delay delivery of airplanes due to the pandemic-induced travel downturn, but remains in talks with Boeing about deferrals, the airline’s CEO said on Wednesday.

“We have the ability to bring forward the deliveries if there is a rebound in air travel,” Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al-Baker said of the Airbus deal at the CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit, without providing further details.

Al-Baker said the airline had not reached an agreement with Boeing.

“As far as Boeing is concerned we are still in negotiations with them, but regardless of what they feel, an aircraft manufacturer needs to oblige customers in difficult times,” he said.
“People who will not oblige and stand with us in this difficult time will not see us again.”

Qatar Airways said in June it would not take any new planes ordered from Boeing or Airbus in 2020 or 2021, adding there would be a knock-on effect to future deliveries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The airline has 27 A350-1000s and 50 A321neos on order, according to the Airbus website. It has also ordered 60 777X planes, five 777 freighters and 23 787-9s from Boeing, the US manufacturer’s website said.

Qatar Airways had also ordered 737 MAX jets for its part-owned carrier Air Italy before its collapse and it is in talks with Boeing about those planes, Al-Baker said.

Airbus and Boeing did not respond immediately to requests for comment.


Egypt banks step up anti-virus efforts

Updated 26 November 2020

Egypt banks step up anti-virus efforts

  • asures recommended by the Federation of Egyptian Banks also include a ban on face-to-face meetings.

CAIRO: Up to half of bank employees in Egypt will be encouraged to work from home under guidelines to counter a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Measures recommended by the Federation of Egyptian Banks (FEB) also include a ban on face-to-face meetings.

In a letter to banks, the FEB said its guidelines were aimed at ensuring sustainable operations “in the current circumstances.”

Banks will continue to operate from 8.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the public and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for employees.

Previous guidelines were issued by the FEB on March 30 and April 5.

The federation's latest plan includes a follow-up on alternative workplaces to allow departments to continue working in cases of forced interruption.

The plan also issues strict instructions on wearing face masks in the workplace and while using the bank’s buses.

Employees also have been urged to follow precautionary measures while using public or private transport, and to avoid crowded places.

The FEB banned face-to-face meetings, replacing these with video conference meetings, and also underlined instructions to sanitize all surfaces using alcohol-based sanitizers, to regularly sanitize all workplaces at weekends, to provide sanitizers in areas that host employees and clients, and to regularly sanitize all main elevators.

Office boys and janitors have been instructed to wear face masks and to use paper cups instead of glass or metal ones.

The FEB said it will continue to post awareness videos and statements on combating the coronavirus.

It has urged banks to use e-payments, to continue banning delivery persons from entering the workplace, to continue halting the delivery of daily newspapers and magazines, and to continue temperature testing by security officials at workplace entrances.