Qatar Airways Delays A380 Launch (Again)

It’s safe to say that Qatar Airways’ A380 delivery has turned into quite a fiasco. After being delayed for several months due to the delayed opening of Hamad International Airport, it seemed like Qatar Airways would finally take delivery of their A380s. But then:


While Qatar Airways hasn’t yet announced how long their A380 will be delayed, I think it’s safe to assume that the delay will be substantial.


  • Qatar Airways has closed first class reservations on QR3 between Doha and London through August 8, 2014
  • Qatar Airways has closed first class reservations on QR39/40 between Doha and Paris through September 30, 2014, which was scheduled to be an A380

So while these flights still show as being operated by A380s, I think it’s safe to take this as a sign of what’s to come. I wouldn’t expect to see Qatar Airways’ A380 in service before August… at the earliest. The reason they closed out first class inventory is probably because the second highest capacity aircraft in their fleet is the 777-300ER, which doesn’t feature a first class cabin.

Interestingly first class is still for sale on QR4, which is the London to Doha flight which operates the “turn” of QR3. I would assume that’s just an oversight on their part.

I’m booked on the Asiana A380 out of Los Angeles in the first week it’s operating, so here’s to hoping they don’t experience similar delays.


  1. Perhaps they are waiting until the first class and business class lounges are finished at the new airport?

  2. @ Joey — I can’t imagine that’s it in and of itself. The cost of delaying delivery of an A380 must be massive, and I can’t imagine they’d keep the plane waiting just for that, especially after it’s already delayed.

  3. probably panicked after they saw EY’s Residence and Apartments, and needed to do some band-aid patches to bring A380 F at least semi close to the competition

    Next to Residence and Apartments, QR F is where the Savoy butlet sits

  4. The new airport is a disaster. I flew through on the 4th. No lounges for business class or Star Gold passengers, mostly non-functional wifi, 4/5 power outlets not yet activated, lines for the bathrooms that are open, construction noise throughout the night… plus, many parts of the airport already look dirty and worn despite being open for less than a week.

    Big thumbs down, Qatar.

  5. Thats what happens when all of the construciton is done by indentured servants from third world countries.

    Wait till the World Cup fiasco, it will make Sochi look good in compariosn.

  6. They do do shoddy work, but it is the managements fault for hiring them and paying such low or non existent wages. I didnt say otherwise. Obviously they didnt get their on their own

  7. @Paul – not true. F and J pax currently have lounge access to what is currently branded as the QR First and Business lounges (though these will switch to the OW emerald and sapphire lounges in the future). Let’s not forget the disaster that was LHR T5 in their first few weeks of operation, or HKIA – I flew through there in the first month of operations and The Wing wasn’t even open yet. CX were handing out vouchers for the airport restaurant.

    I love the US and Americans in general, but the rah-rah bash-Middle East that seems to inevitably follow any post by Lucky on QR is, quite frankly, getting a little tiring.

  8. Sometimes you have to wonder no one is forcing these 3rd world people to go out of their country to work…so if they are stupid and desperate enough…

  9. @Alex – I flew from JNB/DOH/JFK in business class on Qatar. I was informed by 4 different representatives and one supervisor that there was no business class lounge open and available to me. This was on June 4th. I was given a packet of duty free vouchers as compensation.

  10. @Jay – Given the fact that you are commenting on a miles and points blog, I can safely assume that you have no idea what it is like to be “stupid and desperate enough” to travel to another country just to try and feed your family. Most of the workers traveling to the Gulf states come from South Asian countries where they lack even the most primitive of necessities and opportunities. In many cases, they are offered (relatively) generous pay, as well as the opportunity to send money home and return home following their contract. What they often find after arrival is pay that is a fraction of what was promised, their passports are stolen, they lose the ability to send money home (or even contact their families in many cases), and they lack access to the courts to find any relief. Make no mistake, this is medieval indentured servanthood at best, 19th century slavery at worst. The plight of these workers deserves better than ignorant or insulting comments.

  11. If this were an American publicly traded company, stockholders would have been calling for the CEO to step down. The airport fiasco (late by how many years?) and now this is pretty inexcusable.

    @ Doug: +1 from me as well! But Qatar is even worse than most other countries because of “sponsorship system, which tethers workers to a single employer, who can therefore treat his workforce with impunity” including needing an “exit visa” to even leave a country. So you can’t just leave – your employer has to consent to that; in this respect Qatar airline crew members have an easier time leaving as they can walk out at a foreign stopover/destination airport.

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