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Dubai, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – During a panel announcement on Day 1 of the 2013 Dubai Air Show, a joint panel announcement between the Boeing Company and aircraft engine manufacturer GE, officially announced to the world the backing of the latest family member of the Boeing 777 aircraft – the Boeing 777X.

Qatar Airways formally announced its signature of a Letter of Intent to order 50 of the Boeing 777-9X variant.

Until today, the airline had no orders for the 777X to join its fleet.

In attendance at the announcement were: His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed-Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chief Executive of Emirates Group; His Excellency Ali Shereef Al-Emadi, Qatar’s Minister of Finance and the Chairman of Qatar Airways; Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker; President of Emirates Airline, Tim Clark; Boeing Chairman, President and CEO President, Jim McNerney; and President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Aviation, David Joyce.

Currently Qatar Airways fleet is a mixture of various aircraft types, including 51 Boeing 777s – both Extended Range, Long Range and Freighters (37 are currently in service with the remaining pending delivery).
Addressing media at a press conference at Al Maktoum international airport, the recently opened and new venue of the Dubai Air Show, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar 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 US$ 19 billion 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; it is simply a fantastic aeroplane.”

“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.”

“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.”

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.

Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Jim McNerney said: “Boeing is very proud to have Qatar Airways amongst the launch customers for the new 777X program.  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.”

This year marks the 13th edition of the Dubai Airshow, which runs from 17 – 21 November and is taking place at the newly-opened Dubai World Central Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC), located in Jebel Ali, Dubai.

Up to 150 aircraft will be on static display, featuring over 1,000 exhibitors. The 2011 edition of the show attracted over 55,000 visitors from around the world, with this year’s numbers expected to far surpass that.

One of the fastest growing airlines in the world, Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 16 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 130 aircraft to 133 business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and The Americas.

Qatar Airways has launched eleven new destinations this year – Gassim (Saudi Arabia), Najaf (Iraq), Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Chicago (USA), Salalah (Oman), Sulaymaniyah (Iraq), Basra (Iraq), Chengdu (China), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Ta’if (Saudi Arabia) Clark International airport (Philippines) – and Hangzhou (China) will begin on 20 December.

On October 30, 2013, Qatar Airways joined the oneworld Alliance, becoming the only major Gulf carrier to join a global airline alliance, enabling its customers to benefit from almost a thousand airports in more than 150 countries, with 14,000 daily departures.   

Award-winning carrier Qatar Airways was presented with three honours at the annual Skytrax 2013 World Airline Awards held during the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, France last June. The airline was awarded World’s Best Business Class, World’s Best Business Class Lounge and, for the second consecutive year, Best Airline Staff Service in the Middle East.

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For further information

Qatar Airways Group - Corporate Communications Department
Tel: +974 44302072, Fax: +974 44302069
qrmedia@qatarairways.com.qa / Website: www.qatarairways.com

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