New delay likely for first Qatar Airways A380 delivery

Latest scheduling update suggest that launch of first A380 route has been put back until October

The delivery date of Qatar Airways's first A380 aircraft is likely to be postponed again as the airline continues to adjust the date of its launch flight to London Heathrow.

According to a schedule update posted on the Airline Route website, the superjumbo is now set to launch on October 14, about five months later than originally planned.

It is the latest schedule change posted by Qatar Airways after earlier dates in September, August and July although further changes remain highly possible, the website said.

The airline initially planned to receive three of its order of 13 A380s in June, to be flown first to London Heathrow, and then to Paris and New York.

Last month, the airline's CEO Akbar Al Baker said delivery of the first three Airbus A380 superjumbos to Qatar Airways had hit a further delay of several weeks due to unresolved cabin issues.

The delivery had originally been expected around the end of May, coinciding with a meeting of global airlines in Qatar's capital Doha, but was pushed back after the airline apparently rejected the aircraft during a routine pre-delivery inspection.

Airbus said at the time it could not comment on delivery dates for individual aircraft, which was a matter for the customer.

Delays in jetliner deliveries can cause disruption and extra cost for airlines as they reassign aircraft to fill the gap.

The A380 was designed with a cabin that can be heavily customised to support a luxury brand, but this requires complex configuration when preparing the first model for a new airline.

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