Qatar Airways CSeries Negotations On Hold
By Editor - Mon May 14, 9:36 am
Qatar Airways negotiations to buy the Bombardier CSeries are on hold as the airline deals with other expansion issues.
“We are very busy [and] have our hands full,” Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said during the EBACE business aviation show in Geneva, pointing to fielding plans for the Boeing 787, Airbus A380, A350 and A320NEO. As a result “we have, at the moment, delayed our further negotiations for the CSeries.” However, he says he remains interested in the CSeries, Bombardier’s narrowbody. The negotiations could resume in 6-12 months, he notes.
Al Baker sees the CSeries in use for both the airline and to support Qatar’s leasing arm. “We want to be a major player in the aircraft leasing business.” Qatar’s leasing arm has a fleet of 35 aircraft, all operated by the airline, but in the next 12-18 months some of the aircraft exiting Qatar Airways service will be made available for lease to others.
Furthermore, Qatar Airways, in July, will take delivery of its first Boeing 787, which will fly daily at the Farnborough air show. The aircraft will then return to Boeing to install the connectivity elements for high-speed internet service, before commencing revenue service on the Doha-London route in August.
By Robert Wall