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Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Airbus Updates No.510

In Dramatic Reversal Qatar Air Signs Airbus Deal

Qatar Airways returned to the table to sign a USD$6.5 billion deal with Airbus hours after cancelling an announcement at the last minute and bluntly telling the European plane maker to go back to basics.
Chief executive Akbar Al Baker made a second appearance to announce the firm order for five A380 superjumbos and 50 A320neo jets, plus options, hours after announcing an "impasse" in negotiations.
"Price was not at all an issue," Al Baker said of the impasse. "The issue was with the A320 aircraft. Since then, they have gone back to the drawing board and quickly fixed their issues."
The earlier upset threw chaos into Airbus's efforts to recover after being left standing at the Middle East's largest air show when Boeing walked off with a record USD$18 billion order from Emirates on Sunday.
Al Baker, who is known for springing surprises and has often been outspoken about both Airbus and Boeing, compounded the European jet maker's embarrassment by announcing the break-off at a news conference to buy two Boeing 777 freighters.
He said Airbus was "still learning how to make airplanes" in what observers at the air show read as a signal of further disappointment over delays and hesitation over the design of the future A350, a family of planes designed to compete with Boeing's 777 and 787.
It was reported earlier that Qatar Airways was expected to place an order worth USD$6.5 billion including a decision to double its A380 order book to 10 aircraft and buy 50 A320neos.
The upset -- and final deal -- were the latest in a series of twists that have made Qatar's influential order decisions one of the most keenly awaited parts of recent air shows.
Airbus had been counting on an order surge on day three of the Middle East's largest air show to hit back at Boeing, which so far dominates with an USD$18 billion order from host airline Emirates for 50 of its 777 aircraft.
Airbus announced the sale of A320neos to lessor Aviation Capital Group for USD$2.7 billion on Tuesday.

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