Qatar continues Airbus talks, despite 787 signing

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Qatar Airways is continuing talks with Airbus over a potential order for the A330, despite accepting its first Boeing 787-8.

The Doha-based carrier could order up to 24 of the Airbus widebody due to 787 delivery delays, Flightglobal learned earlier this month in Abu Dhabi.

"We are requiring additional capacity and I don't think that Boeing will be able to supply with the speed we want those aircraft, so we have to keep our options open and talk to Airbus," says Akbar Al Baker, chief executive of Qatar, at the announcement of the carrier's entry into the Oneworld alliance in New York today. "Its not only passenger aircraft [orders] but also freighters."

Qatar operates 16 A330-200s and 13 A330-300s, according to Flightglobal's Ascend Online database.

Al Baker previously said that the airline had been "failed by Boeing" regarding deliveries of the 787.

Qatar accepted its first of 30 787s from Boeing on 5 October but will not take delivery of the aircraft for another month as it undergoes modifications in Victorville, California. These modifications include new General Electric GEnx engines.

"It will be one of the finest aircraft," says Al Baker, despite his complaints regarding the delivery delays. "Every aircraft has teething problems at their introduction."

Qatar's first 787 is registration A7-BCB (MSN 38320).