Qatar Airways says it hopes to restart negotiations with Bombardier over the next 12 months, with a view to placing an order for the Canadian airframer's in-development CSeries narrowbody.
Akbar Al Baker, the airline's chief executive, says he is still interested in the Pratt & Whitney PW1500G-powered aircraft. Speaking at a press conference in Doha on 14 November, he said he is hopeful that talks will resume "sometime in the next year".
Rumours of a commitment from the Gulf carrier have been circulating for the past two years, but a deal has always eluded Bombardier.
Al Baker says the airline is "too busy" managing its present order book to contemplate placing additional aircraft orders in the short-term.
He adds that he will wait for the CSeries to complete its maiden sortie - now due by June 2013, following the latest schedule slip - before committing to the twinjet.
Comparing the CSeries with Qatar's Boeing 787s - the first of which arrived in Doha on 14 November after a 14h ferry flight from Seattle - he says both are "new technology aircraft" and, as such, a delay to the Canadian programme had been anticipated.
"It faces similar problems to other new aircraft programmes," Al Baker says.