A rather interesting airline compensation issue

Most discussions of airline compensation have to do with what any particular passenger is due for a delayed or canceled flight, bump, broken equipment, lost luggage or other, similar, event. But those aren’t the only compensation discussions going on out there. What happens, for example, when your airplane is late?

And I’m talking about years late, not hours.

Boeing and Cargolux, are engaged in this discussion right now, with a rather interesting genesis to the situation. Cargolux is the launch customer for the new 747-8F freighter aircraft. The first was supposed to be delivered from Boeing to the carrier last week. Boeing was all set to host a party as part of the delivery of the first aircraft of the new line when things quickly fell apart. Cargolux has refused to accept the aircraft.

The spat is apparently linked to the presence of a new member of the Cargolux Board of Directors, a representative from Qatar Airways which now owns a third of the cargo company. Qatar is frustrated with the delay in delivery of their 787 Dreamliner airplanes. With those planes now years behind schedule on delivery many carriers are trying to figure out an appropriate deal with Boeing to account for the delays. Qatar, however, is the first to make such a public statement about the issues.

Doesn’t’ really have much effect on me as a guy out traveling but it certainly is an entertaining twist to the compensation discussion that seems to happen all too often.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Interestingly these strong arm tactics by Qatar is going to affect its image in the long run, Airlines like Cathay have gone on record that they are happy with the progress being made by GE and Boeing on the fuel burn issue about which they had informed everyone well in advance. I don’t see the point as to what will Qatar achieve by playing like this?

    1. I’m a little surprised at the strong-arm move but not completely. Most airlines are OK with the delays given the economic climate but there are few who want the planes and who are apparently unsatisfied with the comp that Boeing is providing for the delays. I’m not so sure that the lasting legacy will be anything really because of this little spat. Boeing is still going to aggressively pursue the business of Qatar and the airline might save a few extra dollars on this one in the mean time.

      If I were Boeing I’d be more concerned with the Atlas Air order cancellation or the general lack of an order book than this little stunt.

  2. I’ve seen this kind of move before when I used to live in Dubai. It puts BA in a tough position as they have the legal right to enforce the contract for the 747-8 and get paid for delivery, but they run the risk of no further business from Qatar. They really tend to take things personally in that region of the world.

  3. I am surprised that CargoLux would want to be dragged into the dirty games of ONE of it’s directors and its 30% shareholder.

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