FARNBOROUGH: Airbus withdrew A380 to ‘pressure’ Qatar

Farnborough
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Airbus cancelled plans to display Qatar AirwaysA380 at the Farnborough air show to “bully” the airline into taking delivery of the aircraft. That’s the view of the airline’s boss Akbar Al Baker.

Speaking at the show, Al Baker says he is disappointed that the aircraft could not be at the show and said that the decision for it not to be on display was down to Airbus.

“Quite frankly, we were expecting that they would not deliver the aircraft to us before Farnborough but we [still] expected Airbus to showcase the aircraft to the public,” he says.

“They decided [not to bring it, rather than Qatar Airways] because it is their aircraft, it’s not my aircraft yet. This was absolutely disappointing to Qatar Airways.”

Al Baker says that the reason Airbus gave was that it was working on the aircraft.

He adds: “But I don’t think that that was the excuse. I think it was a way to pressure Qatar Airways to take delivery of the aircraft. But Qatar Airways does not get bullied by anybody."

Qatar Airways had been due to take delivery of its first three A380s in June, but the schedule had to be revised after problems were discovered during delivery acceptance inspections. Al Baker says there are issues with “the interior and the exterior” and does not know when its first aircraft will arrive: “The delivery date is when they will be able to fix all the issues.”

With the first three aircraft having now been delayed for more than 30 days, Al Baker says the airline is entitled to compensation. “Beyond that time, the penalties will trigger,” says Al Baker. He adds that “we are very much through that period” and he will “of course” be seeking compensation.