Skip to content

Qatar Airways will retire the 777, in favor of the 777X

June 24, 2020
5 min read
Qatar Airways will retire the 777, in favor of the 777X
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Qatar Airways will retire the Boeing 777, the backbone of its long-haul fleet, by 2024. But that will not be the end for the Triple Seven at Qatar, nor will it be the end of the TPG Award-winning Qsuite business class on the 777. Qatar Airways will replace its current crop of 777s with the newer, bigger 777 models that are known collectively as 777X.

Airline CEO Akbar al Baker told Executive Traveller that the decision is part of a strategy to cut emissions. The 57 Boeing 777s currently operated by Qatar will be replaced by 60 newer Triple Sevens, if the airline will take all the orders it has placed with Boeing.

It should be noted that Qatar has said it won't take any new planes this year and the next, which leaves just two years for Boeing to deliver 60 new airplanes to Qatar if the airline is to substitute newer 777s for older models one for one as deliveries come in. But 60 wide-body jet deliveries to a single airline in 24 months would be a pace unheard of in commercial aviation — so it's likely that Qatar's 777 routes will see a service reduction, or be flown with smaller jets, until all the new 777s are delivered.

"By 2025 we will have just the 777X," the CEO said.

Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more airline news!

Qatar has ordered 60 of the larger 777-9 model and 10 of the 777-8, which has a shorter fuselage but longer range.

Photo by Zach Wichter/The Points Guy
The first 777-9 headed for its first flight (Photo by Zach Wichter/The Points Guy)

Boeing says that the General Electric GEnx engines powering the 777X will burn 10% less fuel than the GEnx version installed on current 777s, with correspondingly lower emissions. Because the new 777s are larger and can carry more passengers, emissions per seat could be more than 10% better than current models.

For passengers, the arrival of the new planes could also bring an exciting new addition: a first-class cabin. Qatar Airways has first class only on its Airbus A380s, which are also going to be phased out in the mid-2020s. But al Baker said that some 777-9s will feature a first class with a "very niche product" aimed at the highest end of the market, mostly on European routes.

Like Air France's La Premiere, the best long-haul first class in the world according to TPG, this cabin would have just four seats at the very front of the 777.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Business class right behind it will be no slouch either; it will be, al Baker said, a new version of the Qsuite currently installed on 777s. Seat width will likely be unchanged since the 777X has the same fuselage cross-section as current models.

Qsuite seat on a 777 (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

In the U.S., Qatar serves — or did before the coronavirus pandemic scrambled airline schedules — Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas - Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York JFK, Philadelphia and Washington. It also remains, despite al Baker's frequent threats to leave, a member of the Oneworld alliance together with American Airlines, which makes it easy to earn and use AAdvantage miles on Qatar flights.

Related reading: How to search and book Qatar Airways’ Qsuite with miles

Qatar is also getting rid of its Airbus A330s. Al Baker said: “We are retiring the entire A330 fleet now," he told Executive Traveller. The twin-aisle Airbus A330 does not serve the U.S., where the airline sends mostly 777s and A350s. Its current 777 fleet includes two models: the 777-300ER, which is the one seen most often in the U.S., with 42 seats in business and 316 in economy, and the 777-200LR with the same business class but 217 in economy

While outwardly similar to current 777s, the -8 and -9 models will be easy to spot at airports thanks to wingtips that fold up. With an increased wing span, which reduces fuel burn, the new 777s would not fit into many existing gates — so Boeing developed a unique folding wingtip.

The 777X made its first flight earlier this year and is scheduled to enter service next year, likely with Lufthansa. No airlines in North America have ordered it, and the 777-300ER will remain the biggest passenger aircraft in scheduled service with any of them.

Qatar is currently the world's second-biggest operator of the Boeing 777 after Emirates, with 78 aircraft, 21 of which are cargo-only versions. Those freighters, known as the 777F version, are likely to remain in service with the airline past 2024 since the 777X series does not currently include a dedicated freighter to replace it.

Featured image by Alberto Riva

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review
Apply for Credit One Bank Wander® Card
at Credit One Bank's secure site

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
1XEarn 1x points on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 10,000 Bonus Points
Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

Fair/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Credit One Bank Wander® Card
at Credit One Bank's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
1XEarn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

    Earn 10,000 Bonus Points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    Fair/Good

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees