Are Qatar Airways' Ambitious Jet Orders a Game Changer for the Industry?

Abhishek Nayar

18 Mar 2024

In a bid to expand and modernize its fleet, Qatar Airways is reportedly in talks with aerospace giants Boeing and Airbus to order a substantial number of widebody jets. The move comes amidst a global race among major airlines to procure fuel-efficient aircraft to manage operating costs and meet the escalating demand for international travel.

A Quest for Efficiency

Fuel efficiency has become a paramount concern for airlines worldwide, driven by both economic and environmental factors. With fluctuating oil prices and increasing pressure to reduce carbon emissions, carriers are seeking aircraft that offer superior fuel efficiency without compromising on performance or passenger comfort.

The Power Players: Airbus A350 vs. Boeing 777X

According to reports, Qatar Airways is considering ordering either the Airbus A350 or Boeing 777X models for its fleet expansion. Both aircraft are renowned for their advanced technologies and fuel-saving capabilities, making them prime choices for airlines looking to streamline operations and enhance sustainability.

The Airbus A350 boasts innovative design features and state-of-the-art aerodynamics, delivering significant fuel savings compared to older generation aircraft. On the other hand, the Boeing 777X promises exceptional fuel efficiency and range, coupled with cutting-edge amenities designed to elevate the passenger experience.

CEO's Vision: A Bold Move for Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways' CEO, Badr Mohammed Al Meer, hinted at the airline's ambitious plans during a recent CNBC interview, where he mentioned the submission of a request for proposal to Boeing and Airbus for a "big" new aircraft order. While details of the potential deal remain confidential, the move underscores Qatar Airways' commitment to staying ahead in a fiercely competitive industry.

Silent Partners: Airbus and Boeing's Response

In response to inquiries about the reported negotiations, Airbus neither confirmed nor denied the discussions, stating they are in constant dialogue with customers but refrain from commenting on confidential matters. Boeing, on the other hand, deferred to Qatar Airways for comment, while the airline itself declined to provide further details.

Overcoming Challenges: A Tale of Resilience

Qatar Airways' decision to rejuvenate its fleet comes on the heels of overcoming significant challenges, including a legal dispute with Airbus over damage to its A350 jets' painted surface. Despite setbacks, the airline has successfully reinstated its entire fleet of A350 aircraft into service, signaling its resilience and determination to overcome obstacles.

Meanwhile, Boeing's 777X program has faced its share of setbacks, grappling with years of delays. Despite initial enthusiasm and a surge in orders from airlines worldwide, production delays have plagued the program, posing challenges for both Boeing and its customers.

Conclusion: Shaping the Future of Aviation

As Qatar Airways navigates discussions with Boeing and Airbus for its fleet expansion, the aviation industry watches with keen interest. The outcome of these negotiations could not only redefine Qatar Airways' fleet but also shape the future landscape of aviation, with implications for fuel efficiency, passenger experience, and technological innovation. As the race for efficiency and sustainability intensifies, the decisions made today could set the stage for a transformative era in air travel.

With Inputs from Reuters

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Nepal Airlines Seeks Funding Boost Amidst Financial Strain

Abhishek Nayar

18 Mar 2024

In a bid to secure essential financing, Nepal Airlines has reissued its call for expressions of interest (EOIs) after a lackluster response from financial institutions in January 2024. The national carrier is seeking over USD1 billion to address existing loan liabilities, procure new aircraft, and construct crucial infrastructure. This move underscores the airline's determination to navigate financial challenges and modernize its operations, amid evolving dynamics in the aviation industry.

Renewed Appeal for Financial Support

Despite initial efforts to solicit funding, Nepal Airlines faced disappointment as financial institutions failed to respond en masse to its previous call for EOIs. Undeterred, the airline has reissued the request, emphasizing the importance of securing the necessary capital to bolster its financial stability and enhance its operational capacity.

Comprehensive Funding Requirements

The funding sought by Nepal Airlines encompasses various aspects crucial to its growth and sustainability. A significant portion, approximately USD415 million, is earmarked to address existing loan liabilities, alleviating financial burdens that have constrained the airline's operations. Additionally, around USD565 million is allocated for the acquisition of new aircraft, aimed at modernizing the fleet and improving efficiency. Furthermore, USD38 million is designated for the construction of a hangar, essential infrastructure vital for maintaining and servicing aircraft.

Stringent Loan Specifications

The EOI documents outline specific requirements for prospective lenders, including a 25-year loan term with the option for extension, a fixed interest rate regime, and quarterly repayment schedules aligned with the local calendar. Moreover, lenders are expected to secure their loans with liens over the resulting new assets and infrastructure, ensuring accountability and mitigating financial risks.

Government Approval and Regulatory Compliance

While Nepal Airlines seeks to secure funding for its ambitious plans, it remains contingent upon approval from the Nepalese government and relevant regulatory authorities. This underscores the importance of adherence to regulatory frameworks and alignment with national aviation policies in advancing the airline's objectives.

Deadline for Submissions

Prospective lenders are encouraged to submit EOIs to Nepal Airlines by 1700 local time (1115Z) on April 11, 2024. The deadline provides an opportunity for financial institutions to engage with the airline and contribute to its strategic initiatives aimed at revitalizing its operations and enhancing its competitiveness in the global aviation market.


Nepal Airlines' renewed appeal for funding reflects its commitment to overcoming financial challenges and charting a path towards sustainable growth and development. With a clear vision and comprehensive funding requirements, the airline aims to leverage strategic investments to modernize its fleet, strengthen its infrastructure, and enhance its overall operational efficiency. As the deadline for submissions approaches, stakeholders eagerly anticipate the outcome, recognizing the significance of this endeavor in shaping the future trajectory of Nepal's aviation sector.

With Inputs from ch-aviation

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Can a New Codeshare Partnership Enhance Travel Between Sri Lanka and South Korea?

Abhishek Nayar

18 Mar 2024

On March 15, 2024, SriLankan Airlines and Korean Air launched an exciting new chapter in air travel between Colombo and Seoul. The activation of their codeshare partnership promises enhanced connectivity, convenience, and options for travelers between these two vibrant destinations.

Expanding Horizons & Seamless Connections

Richard Nuttall, CEO of SriLankan Airlines, expressed enthusiasm for the partnership, highlighting its potential to bolster the airline's presence in the Colombo-Seoul route. With passenger traffic surpassing expectations, the collaboration with Korean Air offers a strategic avenue for growth, benefiting both airlines and customers alike.

One of the key benefits of this partnership is the seamless connectivity it provides. SriLankan Airlines passengers now have access to daily flights between Colombo and Seoul via Singapore, thanks to code-sharing on Korean Air's routes. Similarly, Korean Air travelers gain access to SriLankan Airlines' extensive network across the Indian Subcontinent, including destinations like Chennai in India and Male in the Maldives.

Enhanced Travel Experience

By leveraging each other's networks, both airlines are poised to deliver an enhanced travel experience for passengers. The codeshare agreement allows for through check-in and baggage transfer, streamlining the journey and minimizing hassles for travelers. With multiple flight options available, passengers can enjoy greater flexibility in planning their trips.

Accessible Booking Options & Strengthening Ties

The codeshare flights are readily available for sale through various channels, including online reservation systems, sales offices of both airlines, and external travel agencies. This accessibility ensures that customers have convenient access to the expanded flight options and seamless connections offered by the partnership.

Beyond the realm of travel, the partnership between SriLankan Airlines and Korean Air holds the potential to strengthen ties between Sri Lanka and South Korea. By facilitating increased connectivity and fostering closer economic and cultural exchanges, the collaboration contributes to the broader goal of enhancing bilateral relations between the two nations.


As SriLankan Airlines and Korean Air embark on this new codeshare partnership, travelers between Colombo and Seoul can look forward to a more seamless, convenient, and enriching travel experience. With expanded flight options, streamlined connections, and a commitment to delivering excellence, both airlines are poised to redefine the way passengers’ journey between Sri Lanka and South Korea.

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IdeaForge's Quadcopter Gets DGCA Nod

Preet Palash

15 Mar 2024

IdeaForge Technology has received type certification for one of its flagship products, the Q6 UAS by DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation), the firm said.

The quadcopters' design and extensive area coverage capabilities facilitate the rapid completion of large-scale mapping projects, surpassing the efficiency of other UAVs in the field while being capable of operating even in hilly areas with its negative altitude capability, it added

Sunil Jha, , Senior Director, Engineering, ideaForge Technology Limited, commented, "We are delighted to announce the DGCA Type Certification for the ideaForge Q6 UAS. This certification underscores our steadfast commitment to delivering high-quality, reliable solutions to our customers. With its established track record and cutting-edge features, the Q6 sets new standards for excellence in unmanned aerial solutions by delivering performance, reliability, and autonomy.”

Q6’s capabilities align it to play a pivotal role in supporting the Government's ongoing and upcoming surveillance and mapping initiatives, the firm said.

Equipped with advanced EOIR (Electro-Optical and Infrared) and mapping payloads, the ideaForge Q6 offers enhanced operational capabilities, making it an ideal solution for a wide range of applications, including security, mapping, inspection and surveillance. With extensive applications ranging from border surveillance and policing for homeland security, mining operations, infrastructure inspection, surveying, and 3D surface mapping, the ideaForge Q6 continues to redefine the possibilities of aerial technology. 

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Delhi Airport Transports 80 Lakh Kgs of Cargo from Bangladesh

Preet Palash

15 Mar 2024

Delhi Airport has transshipped over 80 lakh kgs of Bangladeshi cargo to international destinations in the last year in its bid to be the Cargo hub in Southeast Asia, the firm said in a statement
The transhipment facility for Bangladeshi cargo first began on February 26th 2023, paving the way for a faster and cost-effective route of shipping export cargo internationally. Since then, Delhi Airport has helped transship over 80 lakh kgs (8000 MT) of readymade garments to European nations including Spain, Netherlands and France. The European Union is the second-largest export destination for Bangladeshi apparel, followed by UK and Canada.

The first batch of cargo, which left Dhaka on February 26, 2023, arrived at Delhi Airport on March 3rd, 2023 and proceeded for its destined location in Spain on March 5, 2023.

The Government of India's approval on February 7, 2023, allowing Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) to serve as a Cargo Transshipment hub between Bangladesh and other global destinations, has significantly boosted international ties and the national economy. This decision has not only reduced shipment costs for manufacturers but has also led to a daily increase in the export of international cargo via Delhi Airport, covering a spectrum of products, from ready-made garments (RMG) and handlooms to footwear, leather products, jute products, and pharmaceuticals.

The success of transhipment has not only marked a significant milestone in fostering economic growth and international cooperation but has also triggered positive developments in the aviation sector. The Bangladesh cargo influx into Delhi has motivated airlines to enhance their capacity at Delhi Airport, providing Indian exporters with more options in terms of capacity, destinations, and economically beneficial choices, the firm said.
Delhi Airport has installed 28 dual-view x-ray machines for international general Cargo processing. Keeping in mind the increasing cargo inflow, five extra x-ray machines have been augmented for handling Bangladesh cargo to avoid any congestion for General Cargo. Cargo facility at Delhi Airport, connects businesses to 67 international locations and has handled 5.17 lakh MT of international cargo between April 2023 and January 2024.

Sanjiv Edward, CEO-Cargo, GMR Airports, said, “Delhi Airport has been playing a pivotal role in enhancing the bilateral trade ties between India and Bangladesh, particularly in facilitating the seamless export of Bangladeshi cargo to global markets. This achievement of transhipping over 5.17 lakh MT of international cargo in a year marks a significant milestone in our commitment to fostering economic growth and international cooperation. The state-of-the-art transshipment facility at Delhi Airport has not only paved the way for a faster and cost-effective route for shipping export cargo but has also positioned Delhi Airport as a key international cargo hub, bridging the gap between East and West.”

Delhi Airport is the largest Cargo Hub Airport in the South Asia region, with two integrated Cargo Terminals having an annual cargo handling capacity of 1.8 million MT which is scalable to 2.3 million MT. The Cargo handling capacity of the Delhi Airport gives it a unique position to help cater to manufacturers and suppliers internationally, and especially in South East Asia for a faster and cost-effective way to ship their cargo across western nations.

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DHL Express Opens First Automatic Shipment Sorting Hub in Delhi

Preet Palash

15 Mar 2024

DHL Express has opened its first automatic shipment sorting hub in New Delhi, the firm said in a statement

This new shipment sorting hub spread over 34256 Sq Ft houses the automatic sorting machines with capacity to sort 2000 pieces per hour delivering a 30% improvement in productivity.  The 18 sorting chutes, 11 truck docks, and 8 telescopic conveyors help in processing the inbound shipments faster and in turn improve transit times for customers. 
This is the first auto sort machine to be deployed for any international express processing in India, streamlining processes and delivering better service quality for our customers. The facility also stages outbound export shipments, thereby freeing up space at the existing Export Facility which can then be used for enhancing transit times and service quality for customers.

In 2003, DHL Express opened India’s first ever air-side Express Facility and connected India to the global network with its first dedicated international freighter. 

In 2017, DHL Express expanded its air-side operations with a new Export Express Terminal to expand EXIM capacity and streamline processes, to support the growing exports trade out of North India.  With the current expansion, the total DHL Express Delhi Gateway capacity will grow by nearly 6 times since its inception two decades ago.

At the inauguration, John Pearson, CEO, DHL Express said, “For over 40 years, at DHL Express we have been committed to providing Indian businesses with a world-class logistics experience. We were the first in India to establish airside facilities in Delhi in 2003. Since then, the facility has expanded by nearly 6 times and has significantly supported international trade. We have really one goal - to leave no stone unturned in delivering excellence for our customers. For DHL, India is a market where we continue to see great potential. Across industry segments – from the global multinationals to the SMEs, we see strong, consistent growth. Our investments in India, including here in the national capital, mirror this upward trajectory.”

R.S Subramanian, SVP South Asia, DHL Express said, "This expansion continues to represent our commitment to create the best logistics infrastructure for business to succeed in this competitive, global climate. Leveraging technology to streamline operations will enable our customers to continue experiencing the best-in-class express transit times.”

DHL came to India in 1979, and since then has been investing in facilities, fleet, aviation capacity, technology and team development to grow to be a market leader. It has several firsts to its name such as bringing international express services to India, establishing airside facilities in key cities, first to bring inhouse customs clearance, provide 24x7 customer service and more.

The Delhi Gateway connects North India, East India, and parts of West India to over 220 countries and territories via 12 weekly DHL-operated inter-continental freighters and 17 daily commercial flights.