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Fri 31 Oct 2008 08:20 AM

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Boeing strike delays Qatar Airways' Houston launch

Industrial action also delays delivery of five aircraft due in Dec, says airline.

Strike action by Boeing staff in the US has delayed the launch of Qatar Airways' service to Houston and the delivery of its first Boeing 777 Long Range aircraft.

The airline is now looking to take delivery of the aircraft in January, with the Houston service put back until March, airline chief executive officer Akbar Al-Baker said.

Qatar Airways was due to take delivery of five aircraft, including the 777LR, before December but strike action by Boeing staff had forced a delay, he said in an interview with Gulf Times on Friday.

“Although the strike has ended now, we are now looking at January 2009 for the first delivery of our Boeing 777LRs," he told the paper.

Al-Baker also said the reason for delaying the launch of the Houston service was because of non-delivery of the Boeing 777LRs.

“We did not delay Houston because of any downturn in the world economy. We had to reschedule the launch date to March 30 next year because we did not get delivery of our Boeing 777LRs as scheduled,” he said.

Houston will be the third US destination for Qatar’s carrier, the other two being Washington DC and New York.

Its current fleet comprises 64 aircraft and it serves 83 destinations worldwide.

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