Dubai, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Qatar Airways today announced an order for 30 firm and 30 option Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners, together with confirmed orders for 27 Boeing 777s and an additional five options.
Guest of honour, His Excellency Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al Thani, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar, presided over the official signing ceremony and announcement at the Dubai Air Show.
Details of the order were unveiled during a press conference attended by senior executives of both companies together with GE Aviation, which will supply engines for the aircraft.
Addressing media in Dubai this afternoon, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: "We are proud to join the growing list of Boeing 787 customers. With deliveries from mid-2010 through to 2014, the 787 will form the core of Qatar Airways regional and medium-haul fleet from the next decade and its optimum size and outstanding fuel efficiency and economics will underpin the airline's profitability and competitiveness as it builds its hub at Doha's new international airport."
Al Baker said the decision to opt for the Boeing 787 was taken following a detailed analysis of the airline's future aircraft needs over a period of three years, including significant inputs to the 787's original definition and specification. The Boeing 787 order is for the 787-8 version with options to convert to the 787-9 variant.
"Later this month, Qatar Airways takes delivery of the first of its 27 firm Boeing 777s, which signals our first move to induct Boeing aircraft into our fleet," he said.
Qatar Airways has confirmed orders for 14 777-300ERs, 6 777-200LRs and 7 777-200Fs, with deliveries beginning later this month and running until mid-2010. The two passenger 777 variants will facilitate a major expansion in the airline's long haul passenger network. The 777-200 freighters, which will be delivered from 2009, provide outstanding economics enabling Qatar Airways to build up an efficient cargo hub linking Europe and Asia, supplemented by its regional widebody freighters and belly capacity.
Added Al Baker: "I am pleased to say that the Boeing 787s and 777s will strengthen our partnership with Boeing for years to come. Our passenger fleet is among the youngest and eco-friendly in the world with a projected average age of just over three years by next year."
The aggregate value of the 30 Boeing 787s and 27 Boeing 777 firm aircraft is estimated at US$13.5 billion at catalogue prices.
All of the aircraft acquired by Qatar Airways from Boeing will be equipped with General Electric engines. Al Baker added: "The choice of the GEnx and GE90 powerplants to power the airline's new Boeings will further cement the excellent working relationship already established with General Electric on its CF6 programme."
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
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