The CEO of Qatar Airways has threatened to halt Airbus deliveries

The CEO of Qatar Airways has threatened to halt Airbus deliveries

Just days after claiming that the Airbus A380 was his airline’s biggest blunder, allegations have surfaced claiming that Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker has more issues with the company. Al Baker revealed that the airline has a pending issue with the manufacturer, which could result in the carrier refusing delivery of its impending aircraft.

According to Arabnews.com, Qatar Airways CEO Abkar Al Baker admitted that the airline’s relationship with the manufacturer is strained. Al Baker is believed to have stated that there is an ongoing problem that has yet to be fixed. The airline is in discussions with Airbus to remedy the mystery issue, but no deal has yet been reached.

As a result, Al Baker has warned that future aircraft deliveries may be refused by Qatar Airways. The airline is now expecting 50 Airbus A321neos and 32 Airbus A350s. The airline has announced that it would not be placing any new orders anytime soon, but it had planned to deliver all of the aircraft currently on order prior to the recent comments casting doubt.

Qatar Airways has 50 Airbus A321neo planes on order, and the problem could delay delivery.

Qatar Airways has 50 Airbus A321neo planes on order, and the problem could delay delivery. Photo: Qatar Airways

What’s the matter with Airbus?

Abkar Al Baker remained tight-lipped on the problem, stating only, “I, unfortunately, cannot tell you what that issue is.” Airbus likewise refuses to provide any details. Whatever the problem is, it’s “severe” enough to give Airbus “stress in the relationship with IAG, with LATAM, with other airlines in whom we have a shareholder,” according to Al Baker.

Al Baker did label the A380 one of the airline’s biggest blunders in a recent interview with Simple Flying, citing operational expenses and inefficiencies as reasons for his perspective. The A380, however, is not the source of the current problem, which Al Baker refers to as “water under the bridge.”

Abkar Al Baker remained tight-lipped on the problem, stating only, “I, unfortunately, cannot tell you what that issue is.” Airbus likewise refuses to provide any details. Whatever the problem is, it’s “severe” enough to give Airbus “stress in the relationship with IAG, with LATAM, with other airlines in whom we have a shareholder,” according to Al Baker.

Al Baker did label the A380 one of the airline’s biggest blunders in a recent interview with Simple Flying, citing operational expenses and inefficiencies as reasons for his perspective. The A380, however, is not the source of the current problem, which Al Baker refers to as “water under the bridge.”

Is it a real problem or just a threat?

Al Baker has now hinted at a problem with Airbus for the second occasion. He first brought up the problem in early May. He has since indicated that the airline intends to take delivery of its current orders. Instead of cancelling orders, the airline may decide to push deliveries. During the height of the epidemic last year, the airline suspended deliveries from both Airbus and Boeing.

Despite previous statements to the contrary, Mr Al Baker stated that he would gladly order A350 Freighters. Photo: Qatar Airways

Furthermore, Al Baker revealed to Simple Flying that if either Airbus or Boeing released a new, super-efficient aircraft, Qatar Airways would be first in line to sign up. Qatar would be happy to be the first buyer for an A350 freighter, he added. Clearly, whatever the problem is, it isn’t hurting the CEO’s plans for the future. However, two statements in less than a month on the same topic suggest that the two corporations aren’t close to reaching an agreement.

Mr. Al Baker isn’t one to mince words. He has previously expressed his opinions on a number of topics, including the A380 and comparing British Airways to a low-cost carrier. So his remarks aren’t entirely unexpected. Whatever the issue is, travellers will be able to enjoy their flights on Qatar Airways’ new A321neos if it is resolved quickly.

What do you think the problem is? Do you believe Qatar Airways will actually refuse to accept new planes? Let us know what you think in the comments section.

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Cover Photo Credit: Airbus