Qatar Airways and Airbus negotiations break down

15 November 2011

Doha-based airline had planned to announce a large aircraft order

Negotiations of a planned announcement between Qatar Airways and Europe’s Airbus have broken down during the Dubai Airshow.

Qatar Airways chief executive officer Akbar al-Baker had planned to announce a large order of Airbus aircraft.

“We have reached an impasse with them [Airbus],” Al-Baker says. “We thought we would conclude the agreement and make a very large announcement.”

Al-Baker would not elaborate on the details of the planned announcement but in a cutting comment, said that, “Airbus is still learning how to make airplanes.”

Qatar Airways did announce a $560m order for two Boeing 777 freighters.

Al-Baker also said that he has not yet decided which engines to buy to power Qatar Airways’ orders of Airbus A380s.

“We will soon start negotiations with Boeing for a large number of 767s [to convert] into freighters.[We will do this] with Boeing as Airbus is unfortunately not deciding,” says Al-Baker.

“We are also negotiating with Boeing for something else, but we want to see if we can resolve the impasse with Airbus.”

Al-Akbar also says that he hopes to revisit plans to order the Bombardier C-series “hopefully soon”, and is talking to Bombardier about “a large number” of corporate aircraft.

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