Qatar Airways has placed another huge aircraft order, this time agreeing to purchase up to 100 new Boeing jets.
The rapidly-expanding Gulf carrier has penned a firm order for 40 long-haul aircraft – 30 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and 10 Boeing 777-300ERs – valued at US$11.7 billion. It has also signed a letter of intent for up to 60 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, valued at US$6.9 billion.
These new aircraft build on Qatar Airways’ existing fleet of 170 passenger aircraft, which includes some of the most modern long-haul jets in the world today, such as the B787 Dreamliner, Airbus A350 and A380. With this latest order, the airline also now has more than 220 aircraft still waiting to be delivered, including 70 B777s.
The commitment for the B737 MAX 8 will lead to the first Boeing single-aisle aircraft joining Qatar Airways’ fleet in more than 15 years. Currently, the carrier operates approximately 50 of Airbus’ rival model, the A320, with a similar number still to be delivered.
The latest order was announced at an event attended by Qatar’s Minister of Finance, HE Ali Shareef Al Emadi, US Deputy Secretary of State, Tony Blinken, and the Qatari Ambassador to the US, HE Mohammed Jaham Al-Kuwari.
“Qatar Airways, already one of the fastest growing airlines in the history of aviation, today announces a significant and historic aircraft order that will power our future growth for the years and the decades ahead,” said the airline’s chief executive, Akbar Al Baker. “Boeing has proven to be a valuable partner, and today’s announcement is testament to our appreciation of the quality of their product.”
Ray Conner, president & CEO of Boeing’s commercial unit, commented; “We are so very proud that a discerning and market-leading customer like Qatar Airways not only continues to endorse our current products, but also has confidence in Boeing’s new technology that will soon be evident on the 777X and 737 MAX. I look forward to the time when its fleet will feature an increasing number of both our single and twin-aisle airplanes.”
Qatar Airways has set several fleet milestones in recent years, becoming the first airline in the Middle East to operate the B787 Dreamliner and the global launch customer for the A350. It will also be a launch customer for the B777X – the latest version of the B777 series.