Boeing was due to deliver 7 787-9’s to Qatar Airways before the end of this month. Over the last few days 4 of them followed by another 3, were flown from Seattle to Doha in Qatar, only to be turned round and sent back to the US, apparently to Victorville.
The reason appears to be that the aircraft were not fitted with Qatar’s new Q-Suite business class, as per their specification.
Quite how this can have happened is something of a mystery. It’s not clear if the old business class was ordered by mistake but back in October, Qatar said it had delayed the delivery of the aircraft to fit the new Q-Suite.
If the wrong seats were installed that seems more like a communications failure between Qatar, Boeing and suppliers, if they weren’t installed at all, that’s a whole new level of incompetence at Boeing.
Nobody is commenting right now, which is hardly a surprise.
Qatar has its own representation in Seattle to handle deliveries and acceptances.
Some commentators think that the aircraft had to fly to Qatar for formal acceptance purposes, but legally that’s completely unnecessary, and would be costly and wasteful as well as environmentally unsound. At the point of departing the factory the aircraft are registered in their flag country, namely Qatar. If just fitting out the aircraft was all that was needed they could have gone directly to Victorville.
We are still waiting for comment from Qatar and Boeing.