* Qatar Airways says 10 aircraft short due to delivery
* CEO says no plans to restrict capacity growth
* Qatar eyes setting up Indian domestic carrier
(Adds more comments on India, A320neo)
By Victoria Bryan
BERLIN, March 8 Qatar Airways will not take
delivery of any Airbus A320neo aircraft this year as it
looks to change its order to larger A321neos, Chief Executive
Akbar Al Baker said on Wednesday.
The Gulf carrier has refused to take delivery of Airbus
A320neos since December 2015, initially after performance issues
with the aircraft's new engines.
"I have to scream at Airbus to get my planes faster. I am
nearly eight destinations behind schedule because of delays in
aircraft deliveries. I hope this will be resolved during this
year," Al Baker told reporters at the ITB travel fair in Berlin.
Qatar Airways is around 10 aircraft short on deliveries from
Airbus at present, including A320neos and wide body A350s, he
The Gulf carrier wants to change its order for 50 A320neo
family jets, which includes A319, A320 and A321 versions, to
take only the larger A321neos, which would likely be powered by
Asked to comment, an Airbus spokesman said, "We are working
with our customers to deliver aircraft to their full
Al Baker said that unlike rivals, Qatar Airways was not
reducing capacity growth or delaying plane orders, saying Qatar
Airways had always been "prudent" in how it deploys capacity.
Rival Gulf carrier Emirates said in January it was
undertaking a "modest restructuring," a month after Airbus said
it had reached an agreement with the airline to postpone
deliveries of 12 A380 planes over two years.
Seeking to extend its reach Qatar Airways has been buying
stakes in other airlines, and Al Baker said India was next on
Qatar's list, once it has finalised a deal with Italian carrier
Al Baker said he wanted to set up a full service Indian
carrier to fly domestic routes with around 100 narrowbody
planes, now that the country had opened up the airline industry
to foreign investors.
Under current rules foreign airlines are still restricted to
holding a maximum stake of 49 percent in Indian carriers, but
other foreign investors may own up to 100 percent.
Qatar's sovereign wealth fund QIA could own the carrier, and
Qatar Airways would then take a stake, Al Baker said.
"We work in partnership. They may use us to run the
airline," he said.
Qatar Airways has previously talked of investing in Indigo,
but missed out on taking a stake in its IPO.
Al Baker said taking a stake in an existing carrier was off
the table now, but that Qatar Airways was talking to two Indian
carriers to code share with them.
(Reporting by Victoria Bryan in Berlin; writing by Alexander
Cornwell in Dubai; editing by Mark Potter, Greg Mahlich)