Aviation

Qatar Airways patient with Boeing orders — to a point

DOHA, Qatar — Qatar Airways' CEO voiced confidence in Boeing Co. over its delayed 787 program Saturday, but warned the fast-growing carrier may scrap orders for the planes if development problems drag on.

Chief executive Akbar al-Baker noted, however, that there are no current plans to amend Qatar Airways' multibillion-dollar orders for 30 787s and options for 30 more.

"If there is another slip, yes we will have no alternative" but to consider canceling orders, he said. "But as of today, I still have confidence in Boeing."

Al-Baker has been one of the most vocal critics of 787 delays.

He made the comments Saturday as he opened a new arrivals terminal at Doha International Airport to accommodate the airline's rapid growth. The facility, part of a $1 billion revamp of the airport, is meant to provide additional space until a new airport opens in 2012.

Boeing is aiming to deliver the first 787 to Japan's All Nippon Airways early next year — nearly three years later than originally hoped. That target is widely expected to be pushed back further.

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