QATAR AIRWAYS OPTS TO DELAY A380 DELIVERIES
Information was received that Qatar Airways appears to have opted to delay the delivery of their Airbus A380 orders for the time being. Due to receive the first of these giant aircraft by Q4 in 2013, the airline seems to have decided to wait longer to allow the European aircraft manufacturer to resolve the problems of cracks found in the wings of most of the aircraft delivered and now in service, which presently is a high priority by operators and Airbus under the watchful eyes of global aviation regulators.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker was quoted by a source at the just concluded Arabian Travel Market in Dubai as having said: We will defer the deliveries of our A380s until we have a clear position on the issue surrounding wing cracks which are under process of modification by Airbus, dealing another blow to Airbus after telling them off at the Dubai Air Show last year when he, tongue in cheek, told them to learn how to build planes, before handing them another batch of aircraft orders to put the smiles back on their initially red faces.
Meanwhile is Boeing expected to deliver the first B787 Dreamliner to Qatar Airways next month, the first of 60 such aircraft on order, which will make QR the first Gulf airlines operator of the revolutionary new plane and eventually the largest, when all of the ordered aircraft are in service. The airline presently takes delivery of a new aircraft every 15 days, comprising of both Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
The B787 will according to airline sources be showcased first at the Farnborough Air Show in the UK in June, before briefly returning to Boeing to receive some additional fittings before going into service.
Al Baker also stunned his audience at the ATM 2012 in Dubai when he announced a substantially increased rollout plan of new destinations in coming years, raising the ceiling to 170 destinations worldwide, raising hopes amongst the two key manufacturers Airbus and Boeing for additional orders of B777, B787, A320, A330, A350 and A380 aircraft in the future and for certain raising expectations of announcements at the Farnborough Air Show in June.
These developments are bound to substantially benefit travelers of Qatar Airways to and from Eastern Africa, where the airline is set to increase their present reach from currently 4 to 7 destinations by the end of the year, after adding Kilimanjaro in July, Mombasa in August and according to available information Zanzibar by November. Watch this space for breaking and regular aviation news.