22 October 2013

Qatar Airways; Boeing doesn´t want to face a similar problem of confidence it has had with JAL in Japan.

Boeing shares a healthy and “strong” relationship with fast-growing Qatar Airways, despite all the problems faced by its beleaguered Dreamliner aircraft, a senior Boeing executive has said.

“He [Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways’ CEO] has been amazingly supportive [about Dreamliner’s problems] and I appreciate that, Boeing appreciates that,” said Marty Bentrott, vice president of sales at Boeing Commercial.

“The relationship is very strong; it’s kind of like a marriage. Sometimes things are okay and sometimes you’re fighting a little bit. He has high expectations and why shouldn’t he, he runs one of the greatest airlines in the world,” said Bentrott.

Qatar Airways, one of the 787’s major buyers, was forced to scale down expansion plans because of the grounding of all 787s in January this year.

“I wanted to launch 15 routes this year, now I can only launch 10. I am very unhappy,” Al Baker said in May.

While Bentrott acknowledged the issue, he stressed that it had been resolved.

“There have been some challenges and I do not think any airline CEO would be feeling very positive if they had 5 airplanes sitting on the ground. We’ve moved on past that and I think our biggest focus right now is helping that airline restore the reliability levels of the 787 to what we’ve promised and they should expect.”

Bentrott would not comment whether Boeing compensated Qatar Airways following the grounding, after Al Baker said he would demand remuneration.

The relationship also showed signs of healing again at the Paris Air Show this year, where Al Baker announced a commitment for more Boeing planes.

“Qatar is one of the strongest growing airlines in the region and with the development of the new airport in Doha, there’s going to be a lot of aircraft both delivered to Qatar Airways and sold in the future to Qatar Airways,” Bentrott said.

“They, like Emirates, will start looking at a replacement cycle of some of their existing products probably around 2020, so the demand in Qatar is going to be very strong.”

Based on the article “Boeing, Qatar Airways Are In A Kind Of “Marriage” – Senior Exec” published in Golf Business.

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