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Boeing’s Troubled Dreamliner Gets Backing From Qatar’s Al Baker

Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Boeing Co.’s troubled 787 Dreamliner plane got a vote of confidence from the chief executive officer of Qatar Airways Ltd., who called the recent technical glitches “teething problems” that won’t affect his purchase plans.

“We will have these problems, but it doesn’t mean that we will cancel our orders,” Akbar al Baker, known to publicly slam manufacturers for performances deemed sub-par, told reporters in Doha, Qatar, today. “We’ve had no other technical issues, there will be small teething problems.”

The Boeing wide-body aircraft has suffered a series of technical setbacks, including a fuel leak and a fire on another plane this week. The airliner, which has a fuselage made large of lighter composite materials, entered commercial service late in 2011, more than three years behind schedule.

Qatar, which markets itself as a luxury airline, was forced to ground a factory-fresh Dreamliner in mid December because of a faulty generator. Al Baker called the issue “unacceptable” and said Chicago-based Boeing should “get their act together very fast.”

The fire on the Japan Airlines Co.-operated Dreamliner at Boston Airport may have been an “isolated event,” and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration would have ordered a grounding of the fleet if the regulator considered the aircraft unsafe, Al Baker said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Tuttle in Doha at rtuttle@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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