Qatar A321 Catches Fire at Doha Airport, Causing Extensive Damage

Dec 10, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

On Friday, a Qatar Airways Airbus A321 caught fire at remote stand Q40 at Doha’s airport (DOH), likely burning the aircraft beyond economical repair. Photos from the fire show extensive damage to the plane, both inside and outside. Thankfully, no injuries were reported.

In a statement to Qatar newspaper The Peninsula, Qatar confirmed one of its A321s caught fire “whilst under maintenance”:

At 06:50am [December 8] 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.

However, the photos indicate that the fire surely wasn’t “promptly contained and extinguished.” Despite fire-retardant materials used in modern aircraft, the fire had enough time to spread through the long A321 cabin, burning through the roof at both the front and rear of the aircraft.

Photos uploaded to Twitter by JACDEC and enhanced by the author.
Photos uploaded to Twitter by JACDEC and enhanced for detail by the author.

Unconfirmed reports indicate that the “In-flight Entertainment (IFE) Satellite Antenna caught fire during maintenance.” Although the airline has yet to specify the plane involved, the aircraft is believed to have the registration A7-AIB, an A321-200 which entered service with Qatar Airways in July 2010 and used primarily for medium-range flights. According to FlightAware data, the aircraft’s presumably last flight was the 4:44-hour Qatar flight #234 from Moscow (DME) to Doha (DOH) on Wednesday, December 6.

According to DOH airport documents, remote stand Q40 is located at coordinates N25 17.3 E051 36.4. Images from Google Maps show that this stand is near Qatar Airways’ maintenance hangars, located quite a distance away from the terminal. This corroborates Qatar’s statement that the aircraft was undergoing maintenance at the time, instead of being located at a passenger gate.

Image by Google Maps.

While the death of an aircraft is always sad news for us AvGeeks, fortunately there were no injuries and no reported impact on Doha flights because of the incident. We look forward to the results of the Doha investigation, particularly regarding how the fire spread so quickly and caused such extensive damage if the fire was “promptly contained and extinguished.” Hopefully, lessons can be learned from this incident to make aviation even safer than it already is.

Feature image uploaded to Twitter by JACDEC.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.