In deals announced on the first day of the Dubai Airshow 2013, Qatar Airways has signed a letter of intent to order 50 Boeing 777-9X passenger aircraft and has signed a firm order for five more Airbus A330-200F freighters.
On November 17, at the Dubai Airshow 2013, Qatar Airways signed a firm order for five Airbus A330-200 Freighter aircraft and took options on eight more.
Qatar Airways says the new Airbus A330-200F freighters will complement the airline’s rapidly growing cargo network, which includes more than 40 routes on which it operates dedicated freighter service.
If Qatar Airways firms all eight options, the 13-aircraft order would potentially be worth over $2.8 billion at list prices. The newly ordered aircraft will complement three A330-200Fs which Qatar Airways has been operating since earlier this year.
Qatar Airways received its first Airbus aircraft in 1997. As of November 17, Qatar Airways’ had directly ordered more than 200 aircraft from Airbus, from the single-aisle A320 all the way up to the flagship A380.
In another, much larger deal than its Airbus order, Qatar Airways formally announced during the Dubai Airshow 2013 its signature of a letter of intent to order 50 Boeing 777-9X widebodies.
It also did so on the first day of the 2013 Dubai Air Show, during a panel announcement by Boeing and GE Aviation confirming the launch of the Boeing 777X family,
The deal will represent Qatar Airways’ first order for the Boeing 777X family and it becomes one of four launch customers for Boeing’s third-generation 777 family.
According to Doha-based Qatar Airways, its planned Boeing 777-9X order is valued at $19 billion at list prices, implying that Boeing’s current list price for the 777-9X is $380 million.
Today Qatar Airways operates a mixture of different aircraft types. Among them are 23 Boeing 777-300ERs, nine 777-200LRs and five 777 Freighters. The carrier says it has another 14 Boeing 777s on order; at least eight of these are 777-300ERs and at least three are 777Fs, but it appears Qatar Airways has agreed to lease three more 777s (probably 777-300ERs) from unspecified sources.
“For Qatar Airways, the Boeing 777 is our flagship aircraft, ” said Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways’ chief executive officer. “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; it is simply a fantastic aeroplane.”
Al Baker continued: “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 sub-continent, Europe, Asia Pacific, North and South America.”
Added Al Baker: “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, whether it is for long-haul, short-haul, business and/or leisure travel.”
Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 16 years of operations. It currently flies a modern fleet of 130 aircraft to 133 business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and The Americas.
The airline has begun service to 11 new destinations this year – Gassim and Ta’if in Saudi Arabia; Basra, Najaf and Sulaymaniyah in Iraq; Phnom Penh in Cambodia; Chicago; Salalah in Oman; Chengdu in China; Addis Ababa in Ethiopia; and Clark International Airport in the Philippines. The airline will begin serving Hangzhou in China on December 20.
On October 30, Qatar Airways joined the oneworld alliance, becoming the only major Gulf carrier to join a global airline alliance to date.