In a deal worth $19bn, Qatar Airways has placed orders for 50 Boeing 777-9X long-haul jet, which will make the national carrier one of the launch customers for the new 777X programme.
The company signed a Letter of Intent to this effect at the 2013 Dubai Airshow, which got under way yesterday.
The announcement was made in the presence of HE the Minister of Finance, Ali Shareef al-Emadi, also chairman of Qatar Airways; Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; Akbar al-Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways; Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chief executive of Emirates Group; Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline; Jim McNerney, chairman, president and CEO of Boeing; and David Joyce, president and CEO of GE Aviation.
Currently, the Qatar Airways fleet is a mixture of various aircraft types, including 51 Boeing 777s — Extended Range, Long Range and Freighters (37 are currently in service with the remaining pending delivery).
Addressing the media at the Dubai Airshow, al-Baker said: “Today, I represent Qatar Airways and its board members in signing a Letter Of Intent for the purchase of 50 Boeing 777-9X aircraft, valued at $19bn at list prices.”
“For Qatar Airways, the Boeing 777 is our flagship aircraft. It has been the backbone of the fleet. Operational on many of the routes Qatar Airways flies to, it is well admired by our crew and passengers alike,” the Qatar Airways CEO said. “Since Qatar Airways started taking deliveries of Boeing 777s in November 2007, our fleet has been significantly enhanced, enabling the airline to reach a route map covering the entire Middle East and most of Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Europe, Asia-Pacific and North and South America. The Boeing 777 fits into the airline’s strategic growth plan and that is to offer an extensive route map with optimal connectivity, and ultimately to be the airline of choice for customers.”
Of the current 777 fleet, Qatar Airways operates a mix of passenger and cargo aircraft — 23 Boeing 777-300ERs, nine 777-200LRs (Long Range) and five Boeing 777 freighters.
Speaking on the occasion, McNerney said: “Boeing is very proud to have Qatar Airways among the launch customers for the new 777X programme. Qatar Airways has enjoyed remarkable worldwide growth in recent years and we very much look forward to continuing to support the airline on its path to further success in the future.”
According to an agency dispatch, the 777-9 edition, carrying 406 people, will be delivered starting 2020. This year marks the 13th edition of the Dubai Airshow, which will run until November 21 at the newly-opened Dubai World Central Al Maktoum International Airport. Up to 150 aircraft will be on static display, featuring over 1,000 exhibitors