National flag carrier Qatar Airways and aircraft manufacturer Airbus have reportedly reached an agreement to defer aircraft deliveries.

The decision was revealed by Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker at the CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit, reported Reuters.

The carrier has 27 A350-1000s and 50 A321neos on order, as well as sought delivery delay as the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic continues to impact travel demand.

In April, the carrier decided to defer a portion of the basic monthly salary of some of its employees as part of the company’s ‘Solidarity Programme’ undertaken to reduce or defer costs amid the pandemic.

Qatar Airways also held talks with Boeing. It had ordered 60 777X planes, five 777 freighters and 23 787-9s.

al-Baker was quoted by the news agency as saying: “We have the ability to bring forward the deliveries if there is a rebound in air travel.

“As far as Boeing is concerned, we are still in negotiations with them, but regardless of what they feel an aircraft manufacturer needs to oblige customers in difficult times. People who will not oblige and stand with us in this difficult time will not see us again.”

Qatar Airways will operate over 650 weekly flights to more than 85 destinations by mid-September.

In July, Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific reportedly entered an agreement with manufacturer Airbus to defer the deliveries of A350s and A321neo aircraft.