Revealed: Why Al Baker rejected three A380 superjumbos from Airbus

Airbus claimed Qatar Airways had been very “demanding” in its specifications

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker

Airbus has revealed that Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker refused to take delivery of its first A380 superjumbos due to issues with the quality of the interiors, but the European planemaker said it was confident the issues would be sorted out before the end of the year.

"I'm very disappointed with Airbus that they did not bring my A380 to show at this very important airshow," Al Baker said in an interview with Reuters Insider TV at the opening of the Farnborough Airshow in southern England on Monday.

The superjumbo had been slated to appear at the show but was delayed after the Doha-based CEO rejected the first three A380 models presented to him for inspection.

Airbus told the Wall Street Journal newspaper the delay in the delivery of the aircraft had been because Qatar Airways had been very "demanding" in its specifications.

Al Baker found fault in the texturing of the paint, the interior cabin decor foils, which are similar to wallpaper, and the jet's non-textile floors in the galley area, the Wall Street Journal reported.

It added the gallery structures will now need to be removed and replaced, which it said was a time consuming process.

"It's a bit of a job because it has to be done carefully," Tom Williams, executive vice president of programs at Airbus, was quoted as saying.

While Williams told Reuters he was confident the issues would be sorted out by the end of the year, Bloomberg quoted Al Baker as saying the delays in delivery of the A380 were relates to concerns “much bigger” than simple interiors glitches.

“I’m very angry because this is making an impact on our expansion plans,” he said. Qatar Airways was due to deploy its first A380 on its route to London Heathrow in June.

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Posted by: Paul

This guy is an example of a super-ego with no leadership or management skills.
It happened with the Airport construction, it happens on the daily running of Qatar Airways (a company with no written procedures, or ethics. All decisions are centered in the dictator).
Doesn?t this guy know that he should have an Inspection and Test Plan in place, showing what to inspect, where, who and against which defined criteria.
During the construction of an airplane, there should be multiple inspections and approval milestones.

Posted by: John Thomas

I echo "Ed B's" feelings - we own a large Aviation Manufacturing Company and a couple years back we decided that we want NOTHING to do with Qatar; no matter how many airplanes they buy; no matter how much they grow. Dealing with Qatar and its egomaniac CEO is an absolute nightmare and worth no money on Earth. We dropped a $5M bid with them just because of this man's antics. This gentleman (Al Baker) will be the undoing of Qatar Airways - from all of our colleagues none like dealing with QR and the few that still do have no choice as they are locked in agreements. I feel sorry for Boeing and Airbus... We have no regrets at all - QR is not worth the aggravation! NO ONE; NO ONE from suppliers to OEM's to QR own staff like this CEO and the passengers are heading in the same direction. I think it is high time for the Gov't of Qatar to remove this CEO before he damages the airline beyond repair!

Posted by: Ed B

Technically, all vendors manufactures should avoid dealing with Qatar Airways, as the risk of reputation harm is very big. Every article I read, this guy is having a problem with something, but at the same time it all seems the be "strange" and very unreasonable. Airbus is an extremely professional company, and experienced aircraft builder; I am confident that most of the issues faced are due to the internal workings of Qatar airways itself.

Posted by: Chatelmaster

SA1 ... They are manufacturing under license and also their own airlines. They also manufacture road vehicles and ships, you can also fly with Russian aircrafts. Now they have to win the trust of the airlines... On the other end Embraer and Bombardier are doing fine...

Posted by: SA1


It would be good to see China starting commercial flight manufacturing in coming years....that will put some pressure on Beoing/Airbus.

Posted by: Ronald

"I'm very disappointed with Airbus that they did not bring my A380 to show at this very important airshow," ? "my A380". He doesn't own a placemat of the airline yet talks like he is the king of all her surveys. This behaviour is putting passengers off, as there are many alternatives.

Posted by: SA1

He is CEO and possibly shareholder...

Posted by: Mike Newman

POOR CEO. He has been cheated by Corporate Europe. Next time, stick with Boeing, your highness!!

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