Change of heart: Qatar Airways to bring back Airbus A380s?
Qatar Airways chief executive said that the airline would be returning its Airbus A380s to the skies. The carrier’s Super Jumbos will fly as soon as November 2021.
“I think by early November we'll be starting to fly the A380s again. At the moment we are looking at flying five, but we may have to fly all ten,” Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker told Executive Traveller on September 29, 2021.
The move to lift Airbus A380s once again comes as the airline has a 4,000-seat gap due to “issues with its certain Airbus A350s”, which have been grounded by the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) in August 2021.
The Qatari aviation regulator grounded 13 Airbus A350s because the surface below the paint on certain A350s was degrading at an accelerated rate.
"Qatar Airways expects Airbus to have established the root cause and permanently corrected the underlying condition to the satisfaction of Qatar Airways and our regulator before we take delivery of any further A350 aircraft,” Al Baker was quoted in a statement dated August 5, 2021.
The Doha-based carrier, which currently owns 10 Super Jumbos, previously planned to operate half of its A380s fleet.
“The A380 is one of the worst aircraft when it comes to emissions that are flying today,” Al Baker commented during CAPA Live on January 13, 2021. “That is why we have decided that we will not operate them for the foreseeable future – and even when we will operate them, we will only operate half of the numbers we have.”
In April 2021, al Baker said that the purchase of Super Jumbo was the airline's biggest mistake and the aircraft model had no future in the air carrier’s fleet.
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