Ouch: Qatar Airways A321 Badly Damaged In Fire At Doha Airport

Filed Under: Qatar

This looks pretty bad. Yesterday a Qatar Airways A321 was undergoing maintenance at a remote stand at Doha’s Hamad International Airport, and apparently the inflight entertainment satellite antenna caught fire. This was on the A321 with the tail number A7-AIB, which took its first flight in July 2010, so it’s still a fairly new plane. Here’s the statement from the airline regarding this:

At 06:50am today a Qatar Airways Airbus A321 aircraft positioned at a remote stand experienced a fire whilst under maintenance at Hamad International Airport (HIA). The fire inside the cabin was promptly contained and extinguished. Whilst there was some damage to the aircraft there were no injuries. A full investigation is being conducted by the local authorities to establish the cause. Traffic at HIA was not affected and is running as normal.

Pictures of the burnt plane have been circulating on Facebook, and it’s not pretty (and certainly looks worse than “some damage”):

I’m curious whether Qatar Airways plans to write off the plane, or if there’s anyway a plane with this much damage can still be fixed.

At least this happened while the plane was undergoing maintenance, rather than while the plane was in service…

(Featured Image: Konstantin von Wedelstaedt)

  1. This reminds me of Swissair 111 where the entertainment system also caught on fire, except that it was inflight

  2. Write it off?

    I bet you the CEO of delta will buy it, put masking tape on it and paint it to use for Delta flights to Florida

  3. The BA 772 at LAS was repaired after that caught fire and the fuselage had similar damage. It’s not impossible, but this does look worse.

  4. @JAXBA THe BA 772 had much different damage to the aircraft than this instance. Neomax and Prebennorholm on Airliners.net would say otherwise (see it at http://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1380679).

    Neomax pointed out that the British 777 in Las Vegas had a different story — because the engine caught fire (not something directly on the fuselage), only exterior panelling, the wing, and the engine needed repairs.

    And Prebennorholm added that in this case, they are going to need to rewire everything from above the cabin, completely refurbish the interior, patch the fuselage back up, and ensure that anything below the 2 holes in the fuselage, be it wing box, the remainder of the fuselage, etc., are still working and up to full strength.

    This is no Las Vegas, and this is certainly not like the Ethiopian 787 (just compare the damage pictures — they’re nothing alike). It could lean towards a write-off (seeing as there’s a large repair bill, the aircraft isn’t brand new, etc.), but who knows.

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