Qatar Airways A321 Catches Fire, Likely to be Written Off

December 13, 2017

File photo of A7-AIB, the aircraft involved in the incident. Image courtesy of Anna Zvereva.  


On December 8, 2017, a Qatar Airways Airbus A321-231 caught fire while parked at a maintenance stand outside of Doha's Hamad International Airport. Fortunately, no one was injured during this incident, and Qatar Airways released a statement indicating that "the fire inside the aircraft was promptly contained." However, photos from inside the aircraft, released by JACDEC's Twitter account, show otherwise. 

Images courtesy of JACDEC. 


Based on the above photos, it seems like the fire had enough time to burn through the interior of the entire aircraft before being contained. Furthermore, a shot of the aircraft's exterior shows that the fire also burned through the roof, both in the front and rear of the aircraft's fuselage. From these photos, it is likely that the aircraft will be beyond economic repair. Despite the fact that most modern aircraft use fire-retardant materials in their construction, this fire was large enough that most of the interior was completely destroyed.


According to The Points Guy and some unconfirmed reports, the source of the fire was the "In-Flight entertainment antenna," which apparently caught fire during routine maintenance. 


The aircraft in question is A7-AIB, an Airbus A321-231 with IAE V2533-A5 engines delivered to Qatar Airways on July 17, 2010. It is not old by any means; however, the extent of the damage caused to the aircraft means that it will likely be written off. Fortunately though, there are no reported injuries, but the fact that an aircraft is destroyed beyond economical repair is always sad news for us. Authorities in Qatar are currently investigating the incident, and will hopefully be putting in measures to prevent fires this large from spreading onboard a commercial aircraft again. 

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