Qatar Airways has walked away from its first Airbus A320neo and may cancel more of the type if Pratt & Whitney do not resolve the issues with PW1100G quickly, Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker said.
The airline, originally expected to be the launch operator for the aircraft, should by now have had five A320neos in service. Their absence “has a huge impact on my bottom line," Al Baker said adding, “we are screaming.” The airline wants to “imminently open discussions” with CFM International about switching to Leap-1A-powered aircraft and is also considering leasing additional aircraft to bridge the gap.
Qatar Airways refused to take delivery of its first A320neo last December (Aviation Daily, Dec. 9, 2015). Several issues still need to be sorted out, among them ETOPS clearance, and the aircraft is limited only to Category 1 landings, Al Baker said. “We want absolute flexibility, but now we cannot fly into many destinations.” He warned that “they only have a short window to address this.”
So is this just a temper tantrum or can he really 'walk away' from the PW GTF and the early A320neo?