Qatar Airways wants to swap Airbus A320neos for A321neos, new delivery date
By Tom Finn
DOHA (Reuters) - Qatar Airways is in talks with Airbus (AIR.PA: Quote) to convert its order for up to 80 A320neos to the larger A321neo, its chief executive said on Monday.
The airline has refused to accept four A320neos so far this year over performance issues with the aircraft's engines, a spokeswoman told Reuters.
"We are in negotiations with Airbus about how we can continue our relationship and keep our order on track minus the ones that we canceled," CEO Akbar al-Baker told Reuters on the sidelines of a news conference in Doha.
He said the airline wanted to take delivery of the larger A321neo jets from 2018 and was considering swapping the engine order to CFM, a joint venture between General Electric Co (GE.N: Quote) and Safran SA (SAF.PA: Quote) of France.
An Airbus spokesman declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.
Qatar Airways has refused to accept planes with engines made by Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp (UTX.N: Quote), saying they required additional time to start under certain conditions.
The airline said in May it was cutting frequencies on more than a dozen routes from its Doha hub because of delivery delays of new aircraft from Airbus.
Qatar Airways announced on Oct. 7 an order for as much as $18.6 billion worth of Boeing (BA.N: Quote) jets, including a letter of intent for 60 narrow-body 737 MAX 8 jets valued at $6.9 billion. [nL2N1CD144] Continued...