In the era of carbon offsetting it comes as a surprise that any airline is willing to weather the press that comes with operating more flights than necessary. But what about an extra 14,000 miles with four brand-new aircraft — flying with no passengers aboard?
A Qatar Airways’ 787 Dreamliner arrives on its debut flight into Heathrow Airport. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Such is the story of Qatar Airways, who, as reported by Paddle Your Own Kanoo, took delivery of four new 787 Dreamliners on December 27, had them delivered to Doha, and less than 10 hours later sent them to Victorville, California, home of the Southern California Logistics Airport (SCLA). As the planes originally departed from Boeing’s Everett delivery center, this made for a 15,500-mile journey, round-trip.
The total distance between Everett and Victorville? Just over 1,100 miles, which means these aircraft flew an additional 14,000 miles seemingly without cause.
Qatar announced in October that it was delaying delivery of its Dreamliners due to issues installing its modified Qsuite business-class seat. These four aircraft are the first to be completed since October and it would appear that the aircraft were due to be delivered to Doha from Boeing before returning to California for further modification. Why this couldn’t be done without leaving the country is unclear, but it’s not a great move in an industry where limiting your carbon footprint and offsetting your carbon continues to rise in popularity.
Photo credit MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP via Getty Images.