We’ll try to explain…
Thanks to investment banking and airline alliances, things just aren’t as simple as you’d think with airlines these days. In practicality, Qatar Airways is a competitor of British Airways. But on paper, Qatar Airways is a part owner of IAG, the parent company of British Airways – and a OneWorld alliance member, making it an airline partner, investor and “friend” of British Airways as well. Does that make them friends with benefits? The fascinating relationship may soon take yet another twist, as Qatar Airways mentions the possibility of lending long haul jets to British Airways – again.
Rolls Royce has caused utter chaos in the airline industry with the issues surrounding the Trent 1000 Series C engine, installed on many Boeing 787 aircraft. Engine’s blades are corroding at unprecedented rates, forcing regulators and airlines to address the issue hands on, which requires temporarily taking planes out of service. To help alleviate British Airways tightening roster constraints, Bloomberg reports Qatar Airways has expressed the imminent possibility of lending British Airways long haul jets, while 787 Dreamliner’s are addressed.
Not The First Time
When Qatar’s Gulf neighbors teamed up with Saudi Arabia to form a blockade, Qatar Airways lost the ability to maintain many of its short haul routes, as landing privileges were revoked. British Airways simultaneously faced major labor strikes from Mixed Fleet crews. In the interim, Qatar “lent” their short haul Airbus fleet to British Airways to help alleviate both airplane and staffing concerns. It appears both airlines may soon repeat the magic duo while the British Airways 787 fleet passes additional inspection.
“If we have to help them due to their current predicament we will do our best, even if it means reducing some frequencies from our current network” – Akbar Al Baker – CEO Qatar Airways
Good News All Around
Qatar Airways expansion has been unprecedented on many levels. The airline has taken in a vast number of aircraft, and while they do not necessarily have any “extra” planes laying around, they may certainly have wiggle room to cut a few flights on routes where they’ve been particularly aggressive. British Airways customers would potentially benefit from improved cabins on Qatar Airways aircraft, particularly in business class – where British Airways has directly addressed a need to modernize. We’ll soon see.
How do you feel about this potential move?