Qatar Air Could Delay A380 Delivery

January 27, 2012

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The chief executive of Qatar Airways said he was confident Airbus would fix the cracks discovered on the wings of some of its A380 superjumbos but did not rule out delaying delivery if the problem persists.

"I'm sure that it (the cracks) is something that has emerged and that Airbus is capable of putting it right soon," Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said at the opening of the airline's new premium lounge at London's Heathrow Airport on Thursday.

"If they don't put it right we will delay taking an aircraft. But I am confident Airbus will fix the problem."

Qatar Airways doubled its A380 order book to 10 at last year's Dubai air show.

It is due to receive its first A380 next year.

European safety authorities ordered urgent inspections on just under a third of the superjumbo fleet last week after two types of cracks were discovered within weeks of each of other on the same type of part, an L-shaped bracket inside the wing.

Al Baker said teething problems with new aircraft was the reason Qatar Airways had not decided to take the earlier models of the A380.

"Whenever a new model of car comes out I like to get the first one but after a year I need to replace it because they make so many modifications," he said. "That's why we are taking the 50th A380 onwards."

Al Baker added that he expected Qatar to receive its first Boeing 787 in June and that its first flight would be to the UK after being displayed at the Farnborough air show.