Qatar won't take Boeing 787s until engine fault fixed

Tue Oct 2, 2012 11:17am EDT
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By Regan Doherty and Rhys Jones

DOHA/LONDON (Reuters) - Qatar Airways will not take delivery of Boeing Co's (BA.N: Quote) 787 Dreamliner until an engine defect is modified, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

Qatar has placed orders for 60 Dreamliners - 30 firm and an option for 30 more - and selected General Electric Co's (GE.N: Quote) new-generation GEnx engine for the aircraft.

"The 787 has an engine with new technology. However, there has been a material defect in the engine which now needs replacement and inspection," Akbar Al-Baker said after a speech in the Qatari capital Doha.

"We have informed Boeing that we will not take delivery until the 787s have the new modified shaft," said Baker, who has often been outspoken about planemakers Airbus EAD.PA and Boeing and other industry issues.

GE, the world's largest maker of jet engines, said last month it was investigating a second failure of the GEnx jet engine after a Boeing freighter aircraft aborted a takeoff in China.

It was the second incident involving a GEnx engine since July, when an engine on a jet being tested before delivery in South Carolina failed due to cracking in a fan shaft.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said last week that unlike the engine that failed in South Carolina, the one that failed in Shanghai showed no cracking in the shaft.

A GE spokesman said on Tuesday that the company has inspected GEnx engines it has delivered. The conglomerate has also changed the way it manufacturers the engine.   Continued...