Qatar Airways forced to ground new Boeing 787
CEO says he will demand compensation from US plane manufacturer
The CEO Qatar Airways has criticised US plane maker Boeing after being forced to ground a new 787 Dreamliner due to a faulty generator.
The aircraft, just handed over by Boeing, has developed a problem similar to one that forced a United Continental aircraft to make an emergency landing, Bloomberg reported.
Qatar Airways’ third 787 exhibited the failure on its delivery flight from the US, Akbar Al Baker, the Gulf carrier’s CEO told the news service.
He said the plane has been grounded since December 9 and may remain so for at least four days while Boeing sends spares and a recovery team.
“These problems are unacceptable because this aircraft has been flying for the last 14 months,” Al Baker told Bloomberg in an interview in London.
“They have to get their act together very fast because we at Qatar Airways will not accept any more defects,” he added as a 787 began its service to Heathrow from Doha on Thursday.
A United 787 was forced to land on December 4 following the failure of one of six generators.
Al Baker added: “Definitely we will demand compensation. We are not buying airplanes from them to put in a museum.”
Boeing said its technicians "would evaluate the findings in Qatar to understand the root cause of this issue and take the appropriate next steps".
Qatar Airways took delivery of the first of 60 Dreamliners last month with the third 787 joining the airline’s fleet just days ago.
The Doha-based carrier expects to take delivery of two further Dreamliners on December 19. It expects to have 10 of the lightweight jets in service by the end of 2013.
Since taking delivery of its first 787 four weeks ago, Qatar Airways has been flying the aircraft between Doha and both Dubai and Kuwait allowing cabin crew to familiarise themselves with the airplane.
Made up of composite materials, the 787 Dreamliner is lighter and more fuel efficient than any comparable aircraft of its size and range.
Qatar Airways currently operates a fleet of 115 aircraft to 122 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.
This year, the airline has introduced 12 new routes, with six new destinations already announced for next year.