At least four of Qatar Airways’ five Boeing 787 Dreamliners are expected to fly by the end of April, CEO Akbar Al Baker has said.
The aircraft was grounded worldwide in January following concerns about the safety of the plane’s batteries. But a team of Boeing mechanics are heading to Doha “shortly” to modify them, Al Baker said.
Despite the executive’s promise, a Boeing spokesman told the Wall Street Journal that the company has “not discussed any specific timeline for returning the 787 to service.”
Al Baker made his remarks to reporters as Qatar’s national carrier launched its new direct Doha-Chicago route. That flight was supposed to be carried out daily, but has been pared down to three times a week until mid-June due to a plane shortage related to the 787’s problems.
According to Reuters, the airline is set to receive another five 787s this year and has a total order for 30 of the jets, which are at least $207 million each. Al Baker said his company is also seeking compensation from Boeing for the setbacks.
The CEO added that Qatar Airways plans to add service to Atlanta, Detroit and Boston by early 2014.
Credit: Photo by Richard Deakin