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Airbus under fire from Qatar Airways, says A380s due by year end - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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An Airbus A380 taxis on the runway during the opening day of the Farnborough Airshow in Farnborough, Hampshire, southeast England, on 14 July 2014. (EPA/Andy Rain)

An Airbus A380 taxis on the runway during the opening day of the Farnborough Airshow in Farnborough, Hampshire, southeast England, on 14 July 2014. (EPA/Andy Rain)

Farnborough, Reuters—Airbus said the snags holding up delivery of the new A380 superjumbos ordered by Qatar Airways would be resolved by the end of the year, after the chief executive of the Middle Eastern airline criticized the European plane-maker.

Akbar Al-Baker, the chief executive of Qatar Airways, also said on Monday that the airline was not yet ready to finalize an order for 50 Boeing 777X aircraft—the US plane-maker and Airbus rival’s new version of its 777 long-haul jet.

Airbus said it was working to fix difficulties with the A380 planes after Qatar Airways, which should have taken delivery of its first A380 in May, rejected the first three aircraft.

“I’m very disappointed with Airbus that they did not bring my A380 to show at this very important airshow,” Baker said in an interview with Reuters Insider TV.

The superjumbo had been slated to appear at the Farnborough Airshow in southern England.

Airbus said the issues would not have any impact on its 2014 target of delivering 30 of the aircraft.

“I don’t see it being an issue for year end,” Tom Williams, executive vice president of programs at Airbus, told reporters.

Detailing the reasons for the Qatar Airways rejection of the jets, he said the issues were related to the cabin and included paint in some areas having a bubbled texture, joint lines on wallpaper, and some gaps in non-textile floor coverings.

Boeing in November launched its long-awaited 777X, but it should not expect a final order from Qatar Airways this week, said Baker, who said only that the airline would decide “soon.”

“We are not finalizing any orders, we have already an LOI [letter of intent] and that’s where we’re going to leave it for the time being,” he said, when asked about whether the airline would place the order at Farnborough.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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