Qatar Airways To Take Delivery Of A380s!

In what has no doubt been one of the most exciting airline controversies of the year, Qatar Airways and Airbus have been going back and forth over the A380. Qatar Airways was supposed to take delivery of their first one several months ago, though apparently wasn’t pleased with the quality of the interiors.

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Qatar Airways A380 first class interior

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Qatar Airways A380 first class interior

What followed was some fabulous Bravo-worthy drama, with Qatar Airways perpetually delaying their A380 service:

You’ve gotta love Qatar’s CEO, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, who you know is just itching for his own reality TV show based on how he throws shade:

So we’ve heard the A380 delays had to do with the interiors, though what was really the problem? Via The Wall Street Journal:

Airbus said Qatar’s A380 had been delayed as the airline had been very “demanding” in its specifications. The carrier 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, which are prevalent in the galley area. Those large galley structures now have to be removed to lay new flooring in a time-consuming process.

Well, according to Arabian Business it looks like the problems between Qatar Airways and Airbus has finally been resolved, and Qatar Airways’ first A380 will be arriving at Hamad International Airport next week:

Airbus and Qatar Airways have resolved a three-month old dispute that had been blocking the delivery of the first of ten A380s ordered by the Gulf airline, industry sources said.

Airbus declined to comment.

Qatar Airways, which had refused to take delivery of the first three aircraft, citing concerns about the quality of the cabin interior, was not immediately available for comment.

The airline’s chief executive said in July it would seek compensation for the delay.

As of now the inaugural flight from Doha to London is scheduled for October 10, though I think that’s just a “placeholder” for now. At this point it seems like that might actually be realistic, though I wouldn’t assume that the October 10 date is any more likely than any other date between late September and the middle of October.

On one hand I’m kind of excited, on the other hand I’m kind of sad the drama is over…

(Tip of the hat to Joey Kays)

Comments

  1. Love the openess of the 1st class cabin area alot more than the blocked in suites of others.
    So so on Qatar Air in general.

  2. As someone who has been involved in numerous aircraft deliveries, this is not uncommon. Because it’s an A380 it gets more attention, but this type of thing happens all the time.

  3. The QR F looked acceptable at announcement .. until Etihad totally trumped them with Apartments, then QR F on A380 all of a sudden looks like the seat for the Residence butler

    And if QR is actually serious about the F market, they have to reach more places than just LHR and CDG. Why would anyone pay for their F and end up in a J seat for half the journey ?

  4. His Excellency? Is that some sort of joke? Sounds more like a drama queen than a nobleman. Also seems kind of odd to show such overt deference to someone who represents a culture which treats blue collar workers like crap and treats those with alternative lifestyles even worse.

  5. I’ve actually seen one of them in the air!

    I live in Hamburg where the Airbus plant that does the interior for A380s is located and a couple days ago I saw a Qatar A380 making its way there. I figured it might have been a test flight which would mean they are actually taking delivery of them now.

  6. A friend of mine works at Qatar and he sent me some photos from the 380.There is a very unique ‘last minute’ feature.I can’t say or publish the photos of the feature because I don’t wanna get sued by His excellency Akbar Al Baker.

  7. So it’s true! Al Bakar’s obsessive attention to detail is to blame for the delays. Not that it’s a bad thing. If they made clear what the interior specs were to be in the first place and someone at airbus fudged it up, that’s not QA’s fault…IF that’s what went down…

  8. @ patricia — Don’t think they’re really going after the first class market. Soon enough the A380s will be the only planes they have with first class, and they’ll have fewer than a dozen of them.

  9. Know people that work at QR and, yes, he is super picky. Every single piece of paper in the entire company requires his signature. Oh, and btw, “His Excellency” is a fabrication of the company’s media department. It’s not been given by the government. A little Napoleonic.

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