Qatar takes delivery of Middle East’s first 787

Qatar Airways took delivery November 12 of the Middle East’s first Boeing 787. Qatar took contractual delivery of the airplane earlier but physical possession in ceremonies at Boeing Field Monday night.

CEO Akbar Al-Baker said the carrier will take delivery of four more 787s this year. Deliveries of a total of 59 continue into 2017.

Al-Baker said Qatar has conversion rights between the 787-8, the 787-9 and the forthcoming 787-10. Although Boeing and Qatar have discussed the -10, Boeing has yet to formally launch the program. Ray Conner, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said formal Authority to Offer the -10 will be coming soon. Customers who recently attended a Boeing meeting expect the ATO to come this month. It had been expected last month, but the Board had additional questions, customers tell us.

Al-Baker called the 787-10 the most cost efficient aircraft on a unit (seat mile) basis.

EU caves on ETS, for now–but says it didn’t really cave

The European Union caved in on implementing the carbon trading scheme known as ETS that would have taxed international airlines flying into Europe.

The EU claimed it didn’t really cave to international pressure (Financial Times, free registration required) but clearly it did. China was the first country to tell its airlines not to pay. This was followed by counties in the Middle East, India and the US Senate. But we’re going to give credit to China, not only as the leader but a country which adeptly uses its strength in ordering-or not-aircraft from Airbus or Boeing as political tools.

China put on hold ordering $14bn worth of Airbuses, notably 35 A330s. Airbus froze production rates pending this order–which means a loss of jobs.

As countries protesting the unilateral ETS scheme noted, such taxation should come from international agreements through the airline organization ICAO.

What is so annoying about the ETS scheme is that the taxes would go into the countries’ general fund and not be applied to environmental improvements.