Qatar Airways is intending to acquire a large batch of converted Boeing 767 freighters, after losing patience with Airbus over a possible A330 conversion programme.
Chief executive Akbar Al Baker disclosed the plan at the Dubai air show, as the carrier ordered another pair of Boeing 777 freighters.
Al Baker said the airline is looking at taking a "large number" of 767s and would "dispose" of A330s in response, if they could not be converted. Airbus only offers a new-build A330-200 freighter.
"Unfortunately Airbus is not making up its mind on converting the A330," said Al Baker.
His swipe at the European airframer came during a press event which had already been preceded by farce as Qatar Airways and a Boeing entourage turned up in the same room that Airbus personnel were leaving, having hastily cancelled its own planned press event with the carrier.
Al Baker said the carrier had "reached an impasse" with Airbus over an intended deal, although he did not indicate the size or the type of aircraft involved.
"We thought we'd reach a very large [agreement] today," he said, before adding, caustically: "Unfortunately I think Airbus is still learning how to make airplanes."
He gave no indication whether the details would be thrashed out in time to rescue the deal for a Dubai air show disclosure.
Al Baker did, however, warn that Airbus was rapidly using up Qatar Airways' planning margins for introducing the A350 into the Doha-based carrier's fleet, following the decision to delay the A350-900's entry into service until 2014.
The -900 is the first of the three-aircraft A350 family to go into production and Qatar Airways is the launch customer - as it is for the other two models, the -800 and -1000.
Al Baker insisted that a six-month delay on the new programme was "insignificant" but that the buffer had been used up and the carrier "cannot accept" additional programme hold-ups.
"Further delays would concern us," he said, because Qatar bases its fleet planning on being able to put aircraft into service immediately after delivery.
Al Baker also said his opinion on the A350-1000 "remains the same", following the type's redesign earlier this year, adding: "We are not happy."
He underlined the threat to the A350-1000 from Boeing's rival 777, stating that the carrier would be "very interested" in a "large number of aircraft" if the US airframer launched a new variant of the 777.