x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Qatar Airways to receive first Airbus 380 aircraft in weeks

Qatar Airways has 10 A380-800s on order. Three of those are schedluled to be delivered in 2014 and the rest by 2017, according to the capa fleet database.

Etihad Airways will also receive its first A380 and Emirates Airline its 50th superjumbo this year. Ivan Alvarado / Reuters
Etihad Airways will also receive its first A380 and Emirates Airline its 50th superjumbo this year. Ivan Alvarado / Reuters

Airbus said yesterday that Qatar Airways would receive its first A380 superjumbo aircraft in the coming weeks.

Delays involving the aircraft’s paint job and other specifications had postponed delivery from early this month.

“Qatar Airways will receive at the end of this month its first A380, supporting the new operations at the new airport,” said Fabrice Brégier, the Airbus chief executive.

The US$17 billion Hamad International Airport in Doha opened on April 30, and Qatar Airways moved all of its flights there on May 27.

John Leahy, the chief operating officer at Airbus, said that fixing a plane’s details can take longer on the A380 than on smaller jets.

He added, “Whenever you are delivering a plane, you have your inspectors. And if you don’t like some items, or there are some issues on some painting and the rest, then it has to be redone. This is a typical of a normal course of business.”

Qatar Airways will fly the craft on routes including Paris and London. Etihad also will receive its first A380 this year, and Emirates, the biggest operator of the superjumbo jet, will get its 50th this year.

The Qatari flagship carrier has 10 A380-800s on order. Three of those are scheduled to be delivered this year and the rest by 2017, according to the capa fleet database.

Toulouse-based Airbus had suffered a blow on Wednesday when Emirates decided to cancel an order for 70 A350 jets.

Airbus shares fell 3.0 per cent on Wednesday in Paris and were down 0.6 per cent in afternoon trading yesterday.

selgazzar@thenational.ae