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Qatar Airways statement on Airbus A350 aircraft

DOHA, Qatar – In addition to its regular checks to ensure the continued safety and security of its passengers and aircraft, Qatar Airways continues to closely monitor the significant condition across its Airbus A350 fleet in which the fuselage surface below the paint is degrading at an accelerated rate. The airline is working with its regulator to ensure the continued safety of all passengers and on this basis, and following the explicit written instruction of its regulator, thirteen aircraft have now been grounded, effectively removing them from service until such time as the root cause can be established and a satisfactory solution made available to permanently correct the underlying condition.

The safety and security of its passengers remains Qatar Airways’ primary concern. The airline will do all it can to also ensure that its passengers are not inconvenienced by the mandated removal of these aircraft from service and will endeavour to find alternative solutions to offer the usual high standard of service to all passengers. Qatar Airways has already taken action to return its A330 fleet into service with immediate effect to offset some of the impact of the grounded A350 aircraft and is presently looking at other solutions too.

In addition to the airline’s focus on protecting its reputation for offering the highest levels of customer experience, Qatar Airways is cooperating with all the leasing companies affected by this A350 grounding who have started to inspect their impacted aircraft.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “With this latest development, we sincerely expect that Airbus treats this matter with the proper attention that it requires.  Qatar Airways will not accept anything other than aircraft that continue to offer its customers the highest possible standard of safety and the best travel experience that they deserve.  Qatar Airways expects Airbus to have established the root cause and permanently corrected the underlying condition to the satisfaction of Qatar Airways and our regulator before we take delivery of any further A350 aircraft.”

Notes to Editors:

About Qatar Airways: 

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by international air transport rating organisation Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’ and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class experience, Qsuite. Qatar Airways is the only airline to have been awarded the coveted “Skytrax Airline of the Year” title, which is recognised as the pinnacle of excellence in the airline industry, five times.

Hamad International Airport (HIA), the airline’s home and hub, was recently ranked “Third Best Airport in the World”, among 550 airports worldwide, by the SKYTRAX World Airport Awards 2020. Rising from fourth position in 2019 to third in 2020, HIA has been steadily rising in the ‘World's Best Airports’ rankings since the start of its operations in 2014. In addition, HIA was voted the ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ for the sixth year in a row and ‘Best Staff Service in the Middle East’ for the fifth year in a row.

Qsuite, a patented Qatar Airways product, features the industry’s first-ever double bed in Business Class, as well as privacy panels that stow away, allowing passengers in adjoining seats to create their own private room, a first of its kind in the industry.

Qatar Airways was the first Gulf carrier to join global airline alliance oneworld, enabling its passengers to benefit from more than 1,000 airports in more than 160 countries, with 14,250 daily departures.

Oryx One, Qatar Airways’ in-flight entertainment system offers passengers up to 4,000 entertainment options from the latest blockbuster movies, TV box sets, music, games and much more. Passengers flying on Qatar Airways flights served by its B787, B777, A350, A380, A319 and select A320 and A330 aircraft can also stay in touch with their friends and family around the world by using the award-winning airline’s on-board Wi-Fi and GSM service.

Qatar Airways proudly supports a range of exciting international and local initiatives dedicated to enriching the global community that it serves. Qatar Airways, the official FIFA partner, is the official sponsor of many top-level sporting events, including the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM, reflecting the values of sports as a means of bringing people together, something at the core of the airline’s own brand message - Going Places Together.

Qatar Airways Cargo, one of the world’s leading international air cargo carriers, serves more than 60 freighter destinations worldwide via its world-class Doha hub and also delivers freight in the belly-hold deck of passenger aircraft to an extensive network. The Qatar Airways Cargo fleet includes two Boeing 747-8 freighters, 24 Boeing 777 freighters and six B777-300ER mini freighters.

Qatar Executive is the private jet charter division of Qatar Airways Group. Luxury jet services are available for worldwide charter on board the operator’s wholly-owned business jet fleet. Qatar Executive is the launch customer for Gulfstream’s G700, the world’s first commercial service operator of the Gulfstream G500 and largest commercial operator of the G650ER worldwide. Qatar Executive's service portfolio also includes aircraft management, maintenance and Fixed Based Operator services.

For further information, please contact:

Qatar Airways Group, Corporate Communications Department

Tel: +974 4022 2200

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