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Tue 15 Jul 2014 10:39 AM

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Revealed: Why Al Baker rejected three A380 superjumbos from Airbus

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

Revealed: Why Al Baker rejected three A380 superjumbos from Airbus
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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Altamash Javed 6 years ago

Is this guy ever happy? I feel like I have been reading about his misery for 10 years. I have flown Qatar Airways...nothing sensational.

Allan 6 years ago

This would never has happened under my watch, you mean to tell me that you have nobody that went for pre-delivery inspection. if i was ordering 380's i would have a team living with the plane when the interior is fitted.
You must surrounded by the wrong people, what a pity.

Jane 6 years ago

It's not about Qatar Airways - Ever! It is always about him. Very immature frustrated film star I guess. But then, the entire nation has the money to dictate their every whim and often in such a childish manner, whether they have a valid issue or not. We all fall at their feet.

Mike Newman 6 years ago

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

Nader 6 years ago

I wonder if you had ordered a car with specific specs would YOU pay for it if it's not upto Your demands!!!!

Ronald 6 years ago

"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.

Ed B 6 years ago

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.

Steven 6 years ago

It's simple, HIA isn't ready for the A380, so AAB made an excuse for QR to delay the delivery of the A380! Look at HIA, it's a mess! Avoid HIA at all cost, HIA was force to open because of the A380.

SA1 6 years ago


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

SA1 6 years ago

He is CEO and possibly shareholder...