Frustrated by endless delays to its Boeing 787 delivery schedule, Qatar Airways is understood to have initiated discussions with Airbus about a major A330 deal.
Chief executive Akbar Al Baker has been vocal about being "failed by Boeing" over 787 deliveries, which were due to begin in late August but still have not started as a result of unspecified technical issues.
Qatar Airways has 30 787s on order, and had been expecting to introduce its first five this year, with deliveries slated to continue through 2013 and 2014. But with its 787 deliveries in limbo and Qatar facing a potential capacity shortage, Flightglobal has learnt that talks have begun with Airbus for up to 24 A330s. The airline is seeking deliveries from mid-2013.
Al Baker confirms to Flightglobal that his 787s have been subject to "a creeping delivery date", but will not be drawn on the Airbus talks, saying: "We are going to look at all our options but I don't wish to discuss these."