SINGAPORE – Qatar Airways may cancel an order for Pratt & Whitney engines for a fleet of Airbus A320neo aircraft, the carrier’s chief executive said, citing problems in the aircraft power plants.
Akbar al-Baker said Airbus was not at fault and Qatar Airways will not shelve the aircraft order but the company may seek a new engine supplier.
“We will not cancel the (Airbus) neo order, our relationship with Airbus is very strong… but yes we could cancel the entire Pratt & Whitney order,” he told reporters at the Singapore Airshow.
Qatar Airways was originally due to take the first delivery in December of the 50 A320neo planes it had ordered, but rejected the the aircraft, citing problems with the engine.
Lufthansa took the delivery instead.
“Let me be very clear: it is not the fault of Airbus. Airbus has delivered what is their part and as you know, no aeroplane can fly without an engine,” al-Baker said.
“Qatar Airways will not accept an aircraft with those engines unless they are very quickly corrected. Otherwise we have no alternative but to look at an alternate engine supplier.”
He said the airline had given a deadline of within months for the problem to be fixed.
“According to them they are on the way to correct all these issues but I have no confidence unless I see it really happen,” he added.