Seattle, UNITED STATES - Qatar Airways, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, has announced an order for two 777 Freighters from US aircraft manufacturer Boeing.
The order is in addition to the 20 Boeing 777s Doha-based Qatar Airways already plans to introduce to its growing fleet. The two new B777-200 freighters will complement the 14 B777-300ERs and six B777-200LRs already ordered.
Qatar Airways' first B777-200 freighter will be delivered to the airline in 2009 to coincide with the opening of the New Doha International Airport, which will have world-class freight facilities able to handle 750,000 tonnes of cargo per annum during its first development phase.
The B777-200F will be used primarily on Qatar Airways' Far East and European routes and will be supplemented by Airbus A300-600F freighters that operate on regional routes feeding the airline's Doha hub.
Launched in May 2005, Boeing's 777 Freighter programme has tallied 51 orders for the world's most capable twin-engine freighter.
"The State of Qatar is a country of robust economic growth," said Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker.
"While the cornerstone of our success has been focused on our passengers, we also recognise that the 777 Freighter brings asset value to our fleet as we address a growing regional freight market."
The Middle East has been experiencing continued strong air cargo growth and accounts for 5.8 percent of the world's tonnage into, out of, and within the region. The State of Qatar boasts the highest GDP per capita of any Gulf country and amongst the highest in the world.
"Seeing the 777 join Qatar Airways' fleet in both passenger and freighter variants truly underscores the fantastic operational efficiencies of this airplane," said Lee Monson, Boeing Commercial Airplane's vice-president of Sales for the Middle East and Africa.
"We're proud to have this very highly regarded airline select Boeing's 777."
Qatar Airways will begin to receive the 22 Boeing 777s it has ordered in November 2007 with deliveries extending out to mid-2010.
The airline currently operates 52 aircraft from Doha to 70 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Far East and Indian subcontinent.
Qatar Airways expands its international network in 2007 with the launch of non-stop scheduled flights between Doha and New York, Bali, Ho Chi Minh City, Dar Es Salaam and Lagos, together with two points in Northern and Eastern Europe.
About Qatar Airways:
Qatar Airways is one of only four airlines in the world with a Five Star ranking awarded by Skytrax, an independent industry monitoring agency. Last year the airline carried more than 6.3 million passengers and is expected to exceed 8 million passengers during the current financial year.
Doha's new international airport is scheduled to open in mid-2009 and will provide world-class freight facilities to accommodate up to 750,000 tonnes of cargo annually with additional capability planned for later development.
Qatar Airways' fleet will more than double in size over the next 10 years to 110 aircraft. The airline will move to its new operational base of New Doha International Airport in 2009. For more information, visit www.ndiaproject.com
For more information on Qatar Airways, visit the website at www.qatarairways.com
About Boeing 777 Freighter:
The 777 Freighter will have a range of 4,895 miles (9,065 km) with a full payload and general market densities, making it the world's longest-range twin-engine freighter. The new cargo airplane will feature unmatched capacity for a twin-engine freighter and will be designed to facilitate seamless interlining with the 747 freighter.
The 777 Freighter is based on the 777-200LR Worldliner (Longer Range) passenger airplane and will share the advanced features of the 777 family such as state-of-the-art flight deck, fly-by-wire design and an advanced wing design that includes raked wingtips. The first 777 Freighter is scheduled to enter service in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Doha-based Qatar Airways will operate a fleet of 110 aircraft by 2013 – almost double the existing size. Qatar Airways has ordered 80 Airbus A350s, 60 Boeing 787s and 32 Boeing 777s, with deliveries of the latter having started in November 2007. The airline is a launch customer of the twin-deck Airbus A380 ‘super jumbos’ with five aircraft on order and scheduled for delivery from 2010. Qatar Airways moves to the New Doha International Airport in 2010, when the first phase of the new facility opens. For more information, visit www.ndiaproject.com
Qatar Airways is one of only six airlines in the world with a Five Star ranking for service and excellence awarded by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency. Skytrax also named Qatar Airways’ cabin crew as Best in the Middle East for the fifth year running in 2007 following a survey of more than 15 million passengers worldwide. For more information, log onto www.qatarairways.com
Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
Tel: +974 4496956, Fax: +974 4620132