US airframer Boeing has announced a $18.6 billion order from middle-eastern carrier Qatar Airways. The order includes a order for 30 787-9 Dreamliners and 10 777-300ERs, valued at $11.7 billion at current list prices and most importantly a Letter of Intent for up to 60 737 MAX 8s, valued at $6.9 billion at current list prices.
The order builds on Qatar’s existing fleet of 84 Boeing aircraft which include 787-8’s and 777’s. It also increases the airline’s order book to Boeing to 105 aircraft which includes 60 777x’s.
Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive, Qatar Airways
“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, Boeing has proven to be a valuable partner, and today’s announcement is testament to our appreciation of the quality of their product and their dedication to providing world class customer service.”
Frustration with Airbus
The order also signals the airline’s frustration with European airframer Airbus. Qatar airways was originally intended to be the launch customer for the A320neo but rejected it’s initial deliveries due technical problems with the type. The airline had placed an order for the 50 A320neo and A321neo’s in 2011.
The airline still intendes to take delivery of these aircraft according to Mr. Al Bakar, who said “We never renege on contracts that we sign”. But that delays from Airbus had left the airline “no alternative” but to follow through on their earlier threat to order “reliable” Boeing 737’s.
Airbus has drawn the anger of Mr. Al Bakar over it’s last few orders with the airline. Apart from the ongoing delivery issues with the A320neo, the airline has been unhappy with delivery delays on the Airbus A350 and had also delayed delivery of it’s flagship A380’s.