Qatar Airways is making selective flight cancellations in several markets because of a delay in Airbus aircraft deliveries, Qatar Airways executive communications manager Christine Sarkis confirmed to ATW in Doha. The route cuts include Adelaide, its most recently launched schedule.
Sarkis was not able to give details on how many aircraft types and deliveries are delayed. However, Qatar said Tuesday morning the flight cancellations are taking the form of one flight per week in most of the affected markets through the summer.
An Airbus spokesperson told ATW the European manufacturer does not comment on delivery schedules. “We leave this to our customers [airlines]. But our delivery guideline for 50 A350 XWBs in 2016, which had been announced earlier this year [in January], is still valid.”
The Doha-based carrier introduced a daily Doha-Adelaide route using A350 XWBs from May 3.
Qatar, which became the A350 XWB launch customer in 2015, is the first airline to fly the A350 to Australia, Group CEO Akbar Al Baker said in a statement.
According to its website, Qatar has seven A350-900s in operation. The oneworld member is also the launch customer for the stretched version, the A350-1000, which is scheduled to be delivered in 2017.
Sarkis said the airline is minimizing the impact on passengers as much as possible and accommodating them on other flights.
Reuters has reported there are 15 additional routes affected by selective flight cancellations—including Boston, Houston and Miami in the US, and services to Copenhagen, Jakarta and Manchester.
Separately, Qatar announced it will upgauge its daily Doha-Guangzhou (China) service with the introduction of its Airbus A380 on the route from July 1. Guangzhou will be Qatar's fourth A380 destination, after London, Paris and Bangkok.
Qatar operates a fleet of 184 aircraft to more than 150 destinations.