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Airbus : Qatar Airways says will receive first Airbus A350-1000 this year

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08/09/2017 | 02:55 pm
DOHA (Reuters) - Qatar Airways has been told by Airbus it will receive its first A350-1000 aircraft before the end of the year, the airline's chief executive said on Wednesday.

Qatar Airways is the launch customer of Europe's largest twin-engined passenger jet and is scheduled to receive its first of 37 on order this year.

The airline, one of the Middle East's largest, has axed orders for four of the smaller A350-900s and in the past rejected aircraft over what it said were quality issues.

"Airbus has assured us we would receive our airplanes, though late, but we will receive it before the end of the year," Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker told reporters in Doha.

An Airbus spokesman confirmed that the company planned to deliver the first A350-1000 to Qatar Airways this year.

Qatar Airways, which has a reputation for being demanding when reviewing aircraft for quality before delivery, ordered 80 A350s, including those now canceled, and currently has 19 A350-900s in its fleet.

Al-Baker has in the past described the relationship with Airbus as strained over aircraft and delivery issues.

Qatar Airways is also renegotiating its 50 jet single aisle A320neo order, which also includes A319 and A321 versions, after first rejecting delivery of the aircraft in December 2015 over what it said were performance issues.

Al-Baker said he was hopeful that Airbus would start delivering a converted order for only the larger A321neos in the second half of 2018.

The Airbus spokesman declined to comment on the negotiations.

(writing by Alexander Cornwell; editing by Susan Thomas and Jane Merriman)

By Tom Finn

Reuters 2017
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