Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Qatar Airways Airbus A330s can buy 15 more: CEO

AFP DUBAI

Qatar

Airways is looking to order another 10 to 15 Airbus A330s Paris air show in June before and maybe also options on Boeing 787, confirm the Gulf carrier Chief said on Monday.

"We're talking to Airbus for additional A330s," Akbar al Baker told reporters in Dubai, saying that he hoped to reach an agreement on the medium-sized, wide-body aircraft for the air show which opens on 17 June.

But he said the European manufacturer will have to "sharpen their pencils," adding that these planes the rift caused by the delay in Boeing 787 Dreamliners would fill. The carrier has already 32 A330 aircraft, including three versions of the load.

Baker said "there is a possibility to be more" Airbus A380 superjumbos, for which it has firm orders for 10 units.

He also said that his fast-growing carrier "Dreamliners will not cancel the" adding that Qatar Airways to order additional units. "On the contrary, we can order extra Dreamliners because we purchase rights for another 30." "I would not fly them if I am not happy," he said when asked about the resumption of flights after the grounding of all 787s by the American manufacturer due to electrical problems.

Qatar Airways resumed operations on one of the five Dreamliners on May 1, he said.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other regulatory authorities worldwide Dreamliners struck in mid-January after the failures of the lithium-ion batteries caused a fire on a parked plane in Boston and forced the emergency landing a plane ANAoperated in Japan.

After months of research, the FAA last month issued formal approval of Boeing 787 battery fix, pave the way for the troubled aircraft to fly again after the prolonged grounding.

Baker also said that Qatar Airways discussions on a partnership with India's IndiGo airline performs, short of buying a stake in the low-cost airline.

"IndiGo is an airline not for sale. We want to only do partnership with them, "he said.

"We want to code share with them do and we want to get in a situation where we work together, because they are the best airline in India," he said.

"There are already approaches between the boards of the two airlines," he added.

He denied talks with SpiceJet, one of India's nofrills carriers. Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad fastrising last month sealed the deal from a $ 380 million to buy a minority stake in Jet Airways India, in the first foreign investment in an Indian carrier since the Government eased restrictions on foreign buyers in Indian airlines.

Baker said the delayed opening of the new Doha Airport will take place in the last quarter of this year, say that his carrier expansion is secured by the limited capacity of the old airport.

"The delay cost us heavily, because we do not expand as we like," he said.

Hamad International Airport for putting into service last month was planned, but the opening was reportedly delayed after the facility does not meet the safety standards.

Qatar Airways prepares Meanwhile open business in Saudi Arabia as one of the two operators who won in December authorisations to place the Kingdom domestic market to operate.

He said Qatar Airways will work under another name, and start operations with 10 narrowbodies aircraft, with hubs in Riyadh and the Red Sea city of Jeddah.

Bahrain (Bahrain) of Gulf Air won the other license.

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