NEW TWIST: Qatar Airways in $6.5bn Airbus deal
Dubai, November 15, 2011
Qatar Airways placed a $6.5 billion order for Airbus jets hours after telling the European giant to go back to basics and learn how to build airplanes in a day of high theatre at the Dubai Air Show on Tuesday.
Chief executive Akbar Al Baker made a second appearance to announce the firm order for five A380 superjumbos and 50 A320neo jets hours, plus options, after announcing an "impasse" in negotiations.
The earlier upset threw chaos into Airbus's efforts to recover after being left standing at the Middle East's largest air show when Boeing walked off with a record $18 billion order from Emirates on Sunday.
Al Baker, who is known for springing surprises and has often been outspoken about both Airbus and Boeing, compounded the European jetmaker's embarrassment by announcing the break-off at a news conference to buy two Boeing 777 freighters.
Al Baker is unhappy over delays to the A350, a family of planes designed to compete with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Boeing 777.
Earlier, he said Airbus was 'still learning how to make airplanes'. "We thought we would conclude an agreement and make a large announcement,' he told the news conference.
'We have cancelled the announcement. There is an impasse. If this is resolved, fine ... If not, then bye-bye,' he had said. - Reuters