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Qatar blames P&W for CSeries impasse

posted Jul 21, 2010, 11:43 PM by Rowan Hewitt


By Max Kingsley-Jones


An ongoing dispute between Qatar Airways and CSeries engine supplier Pratt & Whitney over maintenance cost guarantees is threatening to derail Bombardier's chances of landing the Gulf carrier as a launch customer for its new twinjet.

The Doha-based airline has been in long-running talks with Bombardier and P&W about a potential order for the PW1000G geared turbofan powered twinjet.

At a press conference to announce a deal for two Bombardier Global 5000 business jets for Qatar's executive arm, chief executive Akbar Al Baker quashed pre-show speculation that a Qatar Airways CSeries order could materialise this week.

"We would have been happy to do something at the show, but unfortunately there are some issues, not relating to Bombardier, that have not been resolved, but we hope they will be soon."

© Billypix

Although Al Baker was reluctant to be specific about the issue, he added: "We are having discussions with the engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, through Bombardier, and I hope we can conclude these amicably."

Flight Daily News understands the issue centres around the engine maker's maintenance cost guarantees to the airline, vis-à-vis its brochure claims for the new turbofan.

Since launching the GTF, P&W has been extremely bullish about its maintenance costs on the basis of its cooler-running hot section, which has fewer parts. P&W boasts 20% maintenance cost savings over current engines - claims that a competitor describes as outrageous.

P&W declines to comment on the specifics of the negotiation difficulties, saying that Bombardier and Qatar Airways "are actively engaged in finding a mutually acceptable way forward".