Qatar sticks with A350-1000, for now

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Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker is sticking with his carrier's order for 20 Airbus A350-1000s after being persuaded by Airbus that the new widebody will meet its as-advertised performance.

Al Baker has been an outspoken critic of the design changes proposed by Airbus for the aircraft.

"We are not very happy with the A350-1000 but Airbus has assured us the aircraft will meet and surpass its contractual obligations to Qatar Airways, so we have to take them at their word," he says. "We will wait and see."

Following the assurances from Airbus, Qatar Airways is not presently looking at cancelling any A350-1000 orders or transferring them to other A350 variants. "But if it does not meet the performance guarantees - the payload, the range - then of course we will," he cautions.

In the past couple of weeks Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways further reduced its order for A350-1000s. It now has 12 A350-1000s on order out of an original order for 25 of the type.