Dreamliner delays may hurt Boeing

By Terry Irwin |
Categories: Economy

Boeing ‘failed’ says Qatar Airways Chief Executive

The key to staying one step ahead of the competition is not only to have the best product, but to also ensure that it is delivered as expected and on time.

This was emphasised last week by criticisms directed towards aeroplane manufacturer Boeing concerning delays to its new flagship aircraft, the 787 Dreamliner. In the very public forum of a Paris news conference, the Chief Executive of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, relayed his dissatisfaction with the American company.

“I was really taken aback by the 787 programme,” Mr Al Baker said. “I never expected a programme could be delayed so much with a company like Boeing, which has pride in its quality. They have very clearly failed.”

Boeing aims for the 787 to be one of the most fuel-efficient commercial airliners in the world, as it is constructed using light carbon-composite materials. It has been much anticipated in the world of commercial aviation and currently has over 800 orders from global airlines. However, the new plane is already over three years behind schedule, and the project was set back further by a fire in one of the prototypes in early November.

Mr Al Baker’s comments are a sign that the world’s airlines may be beginning to lose faith in the Dreamliner. Qatar Airways currently has thirty of the aircraft on order, though Mr Al Baker hinted that the airline may look to Boeing’s chief competitor, Airbus, if delays continue.

“Today we have only five [Airbus] A380s on order and most definitely we will consider increasing this order.”

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