Qatar Is Buying More Long-Range Jets as Diplomatic Blockade Wears on

Jan 31, 2019

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 is amending an order for 50 Airbus A321neo jets to swap in 10 of the long-range models as a diplomatic feud in the region, a so-called “blockade,” wears on.

The blockade began in June 2017 when neighboring countries Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed diplomatic relations with Qatar and essentially boycotted any involvement with the nation. Egypt also joined the bandwagon shortly after.

The boycott also means government-owned Qatar Airways has been barred from using any of the blockade nations’ airspace, meaning longer, more circuitous routes for the Doha-based carrier.

Enter the order for 10 A321LR aircraft.

Airbus’ A321LR planes are the larger version of its A320 narrow-body aircraft, a workhorse plane for airlines across the globe and Airbus’ best-selling jet to date. The long-range version can carry up to 206 passengers in a two-class configuration and has a range of up to 4,000 nautical miles, the longest range for a single-aisle plane. Design changes like extra fuel tanks and a higher maximum takeoff weight increase the plane’s range.

“Qatar Airways will use the A321LR to connect Doha to new growing markets where today demand is not sufficient for wide body aircraft or where current narrow bodies (A320/A321) are unable to reach,” the airline said in a statement on Thursday, noting the plane is “ideally suited to transatlantic routes.” The statement added that the new long-range jets would also be used for additional frequencies on existing routes.

The first of the A321LRs will be delivered to Qatar in 2020.

In addition to being restricted from the countries’ airspace, the airline lost about 18 destination cities to the blockade and attributed a $69 million loss in March 2018 to the diplomatic row.

Featured image by Qatar Airways.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.