While wandering around the ‘World in 2007’ forum last week I noticed that among the sponsors was the fast growing Qatar Airways. Along with the Doha-based carrier’s new found growth, however, has also come the need to purchase a large number of new aircraft to expand its fleet in line with rising passenger numbers.
Qatar has ordered two Airbus A380 aircraft to coincide with the opening of its new airport in 2009 and has an option to buy two more at a later date.
The problem is that massive delays have meant the airline is seeking compensation from Airbus for late delivery and could even postpone its orders completely if its demands are not met. So it was somewhat strange to see Habib Fekih, president of Airbus Middle East, speaking at the event on how between 2006 and 2025 the world will need an additional 21,860 new aircraft and that the Middle East would spend US$75bn in the next three years on new planes. Funny that Qatar Airway’s CEO Akbar al-Baker wasn’t present to give his insight then?
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