Nearly a year after first registering the aircraft in Qatar, Qatar Airways (QR, Doha Hamad Int'l) has launched B787-9 operations, albeit on cargo-only services for the time being.

Four aircraft were ferried from the country's old airport Doha Int'l to Doha Hamad Int'l on November 1, 2020, and were subsequently deployed on scheduled cargo-only flights the day after. They have all been active since then, serving destinations such as Brussels National, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, Mumbai Int'l, Paris CDG, London Heathrow, and Kuwait.

Qatar Airways initially took delivery of the first seven B787-9s in the final days of 2019. However, the aircraft were ferried from Everett to Doha for just a few days, in order to be formally accepted by the Qatari carrier, and subsequently ferried back to Victorville for cabin outfitting. In April 2020, they were again ferried to Doha and have remained parked there ever since. It is unclear if the aircraft have had their cabins fully installed. The remaining four aircraft remain parked in Qatar.

Qatar Airways has thirty B787-9s on firm order from Boeing, including the seven already delivered.

The Qatari airline operates a fleet of dedicated freighters consisting of four A330-200Fs, two B747-8(F)s, and twenty-one B777-200Fs. It has reportedly dismissed the notion of converting any of its passenger aircraft into makeshift freighters. However, it is also using non-converted B777-300(ER)s to operate cargo-only flights, according to the ch-aviation schedules module.

In unrelated fleet news, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said in October that the airline was not planning to reactivate its A380-800s for at least a further two years. He said that rival airlines' decisions to deploy the quadjets were "foolish" as they would lead to overcapacity in the market. While Al Baker did not name any specific airlines, the only Gulf carrier currently operating A380-800s is Emirates (EK, Dubai Int'l). The only other airlines which keep the type active are China Southern Airlines (CZ, Guangzhou) and Korean Air (KE, Seoul Incheon).

Editorial Comment: Corrected information on ferry flights to show they have operated from Doha's old international airport to Hamad International as opposed to vice versa. Added Korean Air as another active A380 operator. - 06.11.2020 - 07:22 UTC