Qatar Airways in talks with Airbus to buy 10-15 A330s

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Qatar Airways is in talks with Airbus to buy between 10 and 15 of the European planemaker's A330 passenger jets following the grounding of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, the airline's chief said on Monday.

Airline industry regulators grounded Boeing's 787 in January due to battery faults.

Qatar Airways returned the aircraft to service last week but the problems have caused delivery schedule delays that prompted Qatar Airways to consider buying more A330s, chief executive Akbar al-Baker said in an interview.

"We are talking to Airbus about A330s to fill in the gap that the Dreamliner delays have caused Qatar Airways... Anywhere between 10 and 15 (aircraft)," al-Baker said. "It's a new order."

Al-Baker spoke at the opening day of a regional travel exhibition in Dubai.

The executive also said that Qatar Airways plans to add Philadelphia to its routes next year as part of alliances with American Airlines and other U.S.-based carriers.

Qatar Airways is locked in fierce competition with rival Gulf carriers Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi and Dubai-based Emirates. All three are aggressively seeking new markets, including the United States. al-Baker told reporters that the Philadelphia service would begin in March, the carrier's fifth American nonstop destination.

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