Dubai: Qatar Airways’ three-month delay in taking delivery of its first Airbus A380 cost the airline more than $200 million in lost revenue, Akbar Al Baker, the airline’s chief executive officer, said on Wednesday.
The Gulf carrier finally took the delivery of its first Airbus A380 in September after it initially refused to receive the aircraft over what it said were quality concerns with the cabin fitting.
“We are a [high] quality airline and we will not accept any shortcuts by any manufacturer,” Al Baker said.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Arab Air Carries Organisation’s (AACO) Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, Al Baker declined to state whether or not he would seek compensation from Airbus.
The superjumbo entered into Qatar Airways’ service last month on the Doha-London Heathrow route. On Tuesday, Al Baker said he was happy with the performance of the new aircraft.
Al Baker was non-committal when asked if he would be interested in purchasing more A380s, of which the airline now has two.
“I cannot judge the performance of the A380 after one month,” he said.
On the delayed launch of Al Maha Airways, the Qatar Airways subsidiary for the Saudi Arabian market, Al Baker said the airline had still not received its operational certificate from Saudi regulators.
“Hopefully soon, I don’t know,” he said when asked when the subsidiary would start operations.
He also declined to comment on reported codeshare talks between Qatar Airways and Moroccan national carrier Royal Air Maroc. On Tuesday, the Moroccan airline told Gulf News such discussions were underway.