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Qatar delays Airbus deliveries, Boeing talks continue

written by Hannah Dowling | September 3, 2020
Qatar has been negotiating delivery deferrals on 165 on-order aircraft (Australian Aviation archives)

Almost three months after drawing a hard line with planemakers on upcoming aircraft deliveries, Qatar Airways and Airbus appear to have reached an agreement to delay a number of the airline’s scheduled deliveries.

Qatar chief executive Akbar Al Baker confirmed at the virtual CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit on Wednesday that it had successfully deferred upcoming Airbus deliveries, however did not go into specifics on which aircraft, or how many are being deferred.

“We have the ability to bring forward the deliveries if there is a rebound in air travel,” Al Baker said, echoing a sentiment he had shared previously.

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Al Baker also said that negotiations between the airline and Boeing are still ongoing.

“As far as Boeing is concerned we are still in negotiations with them, but regardless of what they feel an aircraft manufacturer needs to oblige customers in difficult times,” he said. 

“People who will not oblige and stand with us in this difficult time will not see us again.”

Al Baker lashed out at both Airbus and Boeing in June with similar threats about aircraft delivery deferrals, stating that should the manufacturers not come to the table with appropriate agreements, the airline will be forced to “review” its “long-term business relationship” with them.

The airline currently has a total of 165 aircraft on order, including 50 Airbus A321neos, 27 A350-1000s, as well as 60 Boeing 777X’s, 23 787-9s, and five 777 freighters.

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Qatar Airways also ordered a number of 737 MAX jets for Air Italy, of which Qatar owned 41 per cent prior to its collapse. 

Al Baker said Qatar is now in negotiations with Boeing regarding the future of those planes also.

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