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Qatar Airways Cancels $5.3bn Airbus A320 Order over Delays

Qatar Airways has canceled the delivery of the first Airbus A320 aircraft over delays caused by engine problems.

Qatar Airways had ordered 50 A320neo-family aircraft for $5.3 billion in 2011 and was to receive the first one last October.

However, the aircraft faced software and hydraulics problems and the carrier’s CEO, Akbar Al Baker expressed his discontent about A320neo PW1100G engines, stating that they were not properly tested for high temperatures in the Gulf region. The problems led to months of delays and Akbar Al Baker claimed that Qatar Airways was allowed to invoke the cancellation cause.

Akbar Al Baker claimed that Qatar Airways should have had 5 A320neos in service by this summer. As a result of the delays, it was forced to reduce flight frequency of 15 routes to Boston, Houston and Miami among others. The company’s CEO stated: “It is making a huge impact on my bottom line. We are, quite frankly, screaming.”

The only way for the airline to fulfil the commitments to their customers is to lease. “We will have no alternative but to lease. We are awaiting final response from Airbus,” said Akbar Al Baker. We are not talking about compensation. It is about us getting planes so we can meet network requirement.”

Akbar Al Baker also claimed that the airline could walk away from more orders of Airbus A320 neo. However, he still expects that plane manufacturer will be able to deliver 10 of the larger A350 airplane by the end of calendar year.

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