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
By Staff writer
Tue 15 Jul 2014 10:39 AM

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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