x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Qatar Airways chief backs Dreamliner

Qatar Airways outspoken chairman said that he aims to be on the first Boing 787 Dreamliner flight once the stricken aircraft resumes service.

The chief of Qatar Airways hinted that the carrier will be seeking compensation for delays to the Dreamliner as he moved to reassure customers over the plane's safety.

The airline is one of the plane's biggest customers, with a total of five Dreamliners in its fleet.

Earlier this year all 50 Boeing Dreamliners already in service were grounded because of concerns over the safety of the lithium battery packs fitted to power the aircraft's electrical systems.

"I want to be on the first flight to give confidence to our customers because it has got so much bad publicity," Akbar Al Baker said at the International Air Transport Association World Cargo Symposium in Doha yesterday.

"This is, of course, always the case when something goes wrong."

Mr Al Baker added that Qatar Airways would also be claiming compensation for the delay of the new Doha International Airport, which was scheduled to open in December 2012, but which is now not due to open until this summer.

The company has also been reported as being behind the filing of a US$600 million (Dh2.2billion) legal claim against Lindner Depa Interiors, which was contracted to build 19 lounges at Doha's new airport by last summer but was unable to deliver on time.