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Friday, September 24, 2021

Qatar Airways A380 debut further postponed to October

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a380

Travelers hoping to fly on Qatar Airways’ new A380s may have to wait until the fall to do it. According to the latest route update, the national carrier has postponed its first flights on the super-jumbos until October.

The airline initially planned to receive three of its order of 13 A380s in June, to be flown first to London Heathrow, and subsequently to Paris and New York.

But in May, route updates indicated that Qatar Airways would be delaying its launch of the world’s largest passenger aircraft to July 1. That later got pushed to August. Over the weekend, airlineroute.net showed a Sept. 1 takeoff date.

But yesterday, the route was updated again to reflect that the airline’s first A380 would fly on Oct. 1 to London Heathrow. And the aircraft’s flight to the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris is now expected to take off on Oct. 15.

When the airline’s A380 does enter service, the super-jumbos are expected to take over flight numbers QR003 and QR004, which leave Doha at 7:55am, and return from London at 3:05pm, respectively.

Airline Routes states:

“Although further changes remains highly possible, current inventory listing shows all 3-class of service are open for reservation (based on Doha departure), on/after 01OCT14. For the month of September 2014, QR003/004 is operated by Airbus A340-600 aircraft.”

Interior cabin issues

Qatar Airways has not officially commented on this latest delay, but in late May, CEO Akbar Al Baker warned that it would be several weeks before the planes were ready.

In a statement to Reuters, he said:

“It is customary for the inspection process of delivering a new aircraft to an airline to go through several rounds, and this is not deemed to be an unusual case, though this will lead to a delay of several weeks before its first scheduled commercial route will commence service.”

He added that the delay is because of “issues with the interior of the cabin.”

Airbus confirmed the delay to Reuters, saying it is “fine-tuning” the aircraft and that “new dates will be communicated once confirmed.”

The lack of further clarification about when the carrier would begin flying the A380s has been frustrating for some travelers, who are excited to try out the new planes.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg stated that Japanese carrier Skymark Airlines expected its delivery of the A380s to be delayed by as much as six months due to problems with the plane’s interiors.

However, Al Baker indicated that his airline wouldn’t be waiting that long: “If it was six months, we would have walked away,” he said.

Further delays

Due to the delayed launch of Hamad International Airport, which fully opened in May, the delivery of the super-jumbo planes had already been postponed by six months.

Inside the A380 Qatar Airways First Class cabin
Inside the A380 Qatar Airways First Class cabin

HIA has six double-decker gates for the A380, as well as an aircraft maintenance hangar that can hold two of the huge aircraft at once.

Once up and running, Qatar Airways’ A380 will have 517 seats in all – 457 in economy, 52 in business and eight in first class.

Its first and business class cabins – and a special lounge area for premium passengers – will both be located on the aircraft’s upper deck, with economy seating being split between both floors of the aircraft.

Qatar’s national carrier will not be the first regional airline to fly A380s. Dubai-based Emirates Airline has 47 of these aircraft, and Etihad is also expected to receive its first A380s this year.

Thoughts?

21 COMMENTS

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Aussie expat
Aussie expat
7 years ago

Why is anyone surprised? The airport was delayed how long?

Qatar Airways lack of capacity to organise horizontal folk dancing in houses of ill repute springs to mind…

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  Aussie expat

Nice planes and perfectly friendly crew but that’ about it. Organizational skills do not seem to be their forte.

samesamebutdifferent
samesamebutdifferent
7 years ago

Always factor in a delay of some sort when dealing with anything Qatari. The airport was 7/8 years late. The WC stadiums will be down to the last minute like they were in Brazil. Your car will take an extra few hours in the garage. In the private sector, this is because time is rather elastic in the gulf. In the public sector, this is the result of Qatari nationalisation where the Qatari being hired has absolutely no aptitude or experience in fulfilling the role. I’d be embarrassed if I was hired for something due to my nationality and not my competency.

As the A380, Al Bakr probably found a speck of dust behind a maintenance panel and now requires a complete cabin overhaul. For free.

Plane
Plane
7 years ago

Qatar Airways’ A380s have some issues with cracks along the wings. Of course Qatar Airways would never say that as it would couse fear in passangers. If the delay was really caused by cabin interior problems, it would not take 5 months to fix it. It’s really airbus’ fault and not Qatar Airways.

Huzz
Huzz
7 years ago
Reply to  Plane

The wing cracks story was in 2012. Are you suggesting that since then they have not been fixed? If that was the case then there would be a lot more 380s parked on stand from a lot of airlines. Also, for nervous pax, please don’t think that these were gaping holes in the wing. They were hairline cracks on brackets that do not affect the airworthiness of the aircraft. Plane, you should choose your words more carefully.

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
7 years ago
Reply to  Plane

Here is what Akbar Al Baker said about the wing issue in 2012: “Qatar Air insisted that Airbus provide us with the new, certified wing for the A380 and Airbus has kindly obliged,” Al Baker said today at the Farnborough air show. “We will receive the A380 with the new wing which will not require modification.”

Do you have any thoughts about why the first Qatar Airways A380 will be number 137 off the Airbus production line, yet numbers 138 to 153 have all been built and are already carrying passengers for Emirates, British Airways, Asiana and Lufthansa? Any thoughts about why the only 3 that have been built but are still yet to fly any passengers (numbers 137, 143 and 145) are all for Qatar Airways?

Something to do with a new wing?

Frankly if Qatar Airways manages to resolve a cabin fitout issue in only 5 months, that will be a huge improvement, compared to their ability to open incomplete airports.

Plane
Plane
7 years ago
Reply to  Plane

That’s the news at QR at the moment. I didn’t get this from a 2012 article.

wee_johnnie
wee_johnnie
7 years ago

These aren’t the first Airbus aircraft in QA’s fleet, so can’t see what the issue is as Airbus will be fully aware of QA’s requirements and standards.
Wonder if the first one will be a special for the Emiri Flight and QA waiting for that one to be delivered before the normal passenger ones arrive?

samesamebutdifferent
samesamebutdifferent
7 years ago
Reply to  wee_johnnie

Nah, Emiri Flight has a B747-8 on order.

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
7 years ago

Wait WHAT? Qatar Airways has made a promise it can’t deliver?! I’m so shocked….

samesamebutdifferent
samesamebutdifferent
7 years ago

Ah I’ve had my comment deleted, excellent. Does the truth hurt?

Enceladus
Enceladus
7 years ago

Post it again. Some of us we missed it.

samesamebutdifferent
samesamebutdifferent
7 years ago
Reply to  Enceladus

A little criticism about Qatarisation and delays on everything in Qatar…

Enceladus
Enceladus
7 years ago

Doha News… You forgot the “H.E” when you refer Qatar Airways CEO…

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago

I am still waiting for the premium lounges in the new airport.

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

Yes ol chap terrible having to wait in the non premium lounge, I mean the indignation of it all. I like you would expect that an airport build on the back of Asians that get paid 200 USD dollars a month for 10 hour days 6 day weeks slaving in the desert heat, could at the very least offer me a lounge of the standard and prestige I expect and deserve when sipping a pre flight cognac.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

For $200 a month for 10 hour days for 6 days a week? I fear you have grown far too soft ol boy. It’s easy-going attitudes like yours that are causing all of these delays.

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

Yes I may have, its my retirement from the service you see, As a Major leading the men into battle in Kaurtoum during my hey day, I would drink cognac by the case load, served by fit shirtless local men, at least 100 miles from any danger, whilst my men where doing their very best at getting gallantly slaughtered in the name of the King. It was tough on me but I did it for King and country ol boy. Perhaps I need to take back my commission and head back into to the fray? Perhaps then I will once again acknowledge that it should have been built by men working 23 hour days, all for the privilidge of being given some food an hours sleep and a fine bit of sand to rest on. Then only then will I deserve premium lounge access.

ex_pat
ex_pat
7 years ago

I wonder what Emirates with their 50-odd A380’s make of all this.

I’d wager we may see Etihad’s A380’s in the air before Qatar’s. Could be a bit embarrassing for AAB.

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago

Fly on a Qantas one regularly from Dubai to Aus, lovely experience. Australia got the A380 but not the 2022 World Cup…;-0

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago

Airbus are racists….

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