Qatar Airways chief ‘very unhappy’ with A320 problems

An A320neo test flight

Airbus

An A320neo test flight

Qatar’s national carrier could walk away from an order of Airbus A320neo aircraft after its chief executive said that even more problems have been found with the jet.

Qatar Airways is now in talks with an Airbus rival  about potentially supplying substitute aircraft after issues this time with the A320’s hydraulics and software were discovered, Reuters reports.

Citing unnamed industry sources, the newswire said the latest problems are to do with “increased noise” when some of the new aircraft are taxiing, which could be disturbing to passengers.

Airbus reportedly said the issues will be fixed by July.

Speaking to reporters in Dubai yesterday, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said:

“We have talked to Airbus, they know very well that we’re a very unhappy, very unhappy customer.”

Engine troubles

The noise is the latest in a series of problems that have beset the aircraft, for which Qatar Airways has an order of 80, according to its website.

The carrier was due to take delivery of the first of these by the end of 2015, but they were rejected due to problems with engine performance at high temperatures, which Qatar experiences.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker

Qatar Airways/Flickr

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker

“They have indicated they will have all those fixes by the end of the year,” Reuters quoted Al Baker as saying yesterday in the latest update on the timeline for the planes.

As an alternative, Al Baker said Boeing has been approached to discuss using its 737NG planes, adding that the maker was “trying to oblige and give us the aircraft that we require.”

The A320neo is a single-aisle aircraft designed for use on short and medium-haul routes. The Pratt & Whitney engines should help reduce the plane’s fuel consumption by approximately 15 percent, according to Airbus.

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