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Boeing Dreamliner 'a failure', says Qatar Airways boss

The Dreamliner is examined by emergency services and investigators.
Image caption The Dreamliner which was forced to land in Texas after an on-board fire

The chief executive of Qatar Airways has criticised Boeing over delays to the 787 Dreamliner, reportedly saying that it has "clearly failed".

Akbar Al Baker said he had been "taken aback" by the problems that have plagued the delivery of the aircraft, the Reuters news agency reported.

Meanwhile, Boeing has announced it is revising its schedule after a fire on a test flight earlier this month.

It had hoped to begin delivering the plane at the start of next year.

'Foreign debris'

Production of 787s is about three years behind schedule, with delays mainly a result of the supply and fitting of parts.

A test flight had to be aborted on 9 November after a fire broke out on board. Boeing has blamed a piece of "foreign debris" in a power panel.

Qatar Airways has ordered a minimum of 30 Dreamliners, with the first due to be delivered in the last quarter of next year.

Image caption Mr Al Baker was also dismissive of the Bombardier C-Series planes

Speaking at a news conference in Paris, Mr Al Baker said he had not expected such delays from Boeing, because the US-based company had "pride in its quality".

"They have very clearly failed," he added.

He added that Qatar Airways was considering buying more Airbus A380s on top of the five already ordered from Boeing's arch-rival.

Mr Al Baker was also critical of Bombardier of Canada, which has been trying to break Boeing's and Airbus' stranglehold of the airliner production business.

He said Qatar Airways had been forced to cancel a planned order for the company's C-Series planes in July over concerns about their engines.

"If they do not roll up their sleeves pretty fast then the [new Airbus A320] NEO will eclipse them," he warned.

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