Has Etihad caused Qatar airways to delay A380 delivery?
News is emerging from the sidelines of the IATA Annual General Meeting now underway in Doha, that the imminent arrival of the airline’s first Airbus A380 may be delayed by several weeks, and reasons
News is emerging from the sidelines of the IATA Annual General Meeting now underway in Doha, that the imminent arrival of the airline’s first Airbus A380 may be delayed by several weeks, and reasons given by the airline according to two delegates present in Doha, were “issues with the interior of the cabin.” Qatar Airways has reportedly 10 of these aircraft on order due for delivery over the next two years.
Widely expected to commence service in June to London Heathrow, a second A380 was then to be deployed on the route to Paris. Will the delay cause some setback to increasing seats during the high occupancy summer months when travel around the world reaches its peak? The same sources also reported back that Airbus has also confirmed the delay but has not given a timeframe when the first A380 would be delivered to Qatar Airways, the second Gulf carrier to receive the giant aircraft after Emirates, which already operates 50 such birds.
Qatar Airways, at the recently held Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, showcased their new First Class Cabin to the public which was overshadowed by rival Etihad’s launch of their revolutionary First Class The Residence – an apartment in the sky – prompting some speculation that both Emirates and Qatar Airways – the two airlines had announced added syndicated A380 orders at the Dubai Airshow last year – may want to have a second look at their First Class product, even though Qatar Airways is known to always be at the cutting edge of cabin layout and inflight comfort.
The delay means that passengers from East Africa connecting with Qatar Airways at the new Hamad International Airport in Doha will have to wait a few more weeks before they can sample the airline’s latest acquisition and try out their new First Class cabin. Qatar Airways flies to East Africa serving Entebbe, Kigali, Nairobi, Kilimanjaro, and Dar es Salaam.
Meanwhile it was also learned that Airbus was to use the IATA AGM to showcase not only the Qatar Airways A380 to delegates but also make a further announcement thought to be over additional orders secured, something which is now in some doubt as a result of not having an A380 on site to show off.
The IATA AGM, this year hosted by Qatar Airways in the Qatari capital city of Doha, is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the start of commercial air operations.