Qatar A380 delivery contingent on permanent wing fix: Al Baker

Geneva
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Airbus has promised that a permanent fix to the wing crack problem affecting current in-service A380s will enable Qatar Airways to take its first unit in October 2013 as scheduled, says Akbar Al Baker, chief executive of the Doha-based carrier.

"I want to stress very clearly that Airbus has given us guarantees that the issues concerning the wings will be resolved," says Al Baker today in Geneva.

He emphasises that Qatar Airways will not accept any A380s with temporary fixes to the cracking problem, insisting: "We need a fully certified, permanent fix to the wing.

"We don't want the aircraft to be delivered with an interim solution," Al Baker says, adding that an interim solution would require the aircraft to enter service and then go back to Airbus for remedial work at a later date. "We don't want people going in and out of our wings," he notes.

Al Baker says that if Airbus only presents it with an interim solution for its A380s will it defer delivery of the aircraft. However, the chief executive is confident Airbus will deliver, adding: "There will be a permanent fix [for our aircraft]."