Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker says that the Airbus A380 was his 'biggest mistake' and that the airline was forced in to putting the Superjumbo back in to service.
From a report with Simple Flying, Al Baker said the return of their A380s to active status was a 'reluctant' decision as the airline was coping with their A350 grounding and the carrier's stretched capacity.
“Due to the grounding of the A350s by our regulator and me having a shortage of capacity, my only alternative was to recommission them at a high cost […] I need the volume, and I need the capacity, but as soon as I start getting deliveries of my airplanes and we get enough capacity, we will ground [the A380s],” said Al Baker.
Al Bakar added that obtaining spare parts for the discontinued plane was proving more difficult as Airbus would not make producing more parts a priority for an out-of-production aircraft.
“For our information, out of the eight that we commissioned to fly, we only fly seven. We keep one spare because today, you have difficulty getting spares for them because of the supply chain. [Airbus] stopped producing them, so there is no more incentive to make spares.”
The A380 fleet will start to be grounded as soon as extra aircraft deliveries resume, according to Al Baker.
Qatar Airways is expecting to receive over 100 new aircraft in the near future. However, due to the current squabble between Qatar and Airbus over the A350, the majority of these deliveries are not currently possible.