Qatar Airways has placed an order for two additional Boeing 777-200LRs and has also announced that it is moving up delivery slots for some of its 787-8s.
The new 777s, which were previously attributed to an unidentified customer, will be used to grow Qatar’s longhaul network. Qatar already operates 19 777s, and has a further 10 on order.
“We continue to invest in new aircraft and new routes and will be well positioned for the upturn in air travel with a fleet fully optimised for economic and environmentally friendly operations,” said CEO Akbar Al-Baker at the Farnborough Airshow.
Qatar says that it has negotiated with Boeing to now take its first 787 during the final quarter of 2011, with five aircraft expected to be in service by the end of the first quarter of 2012. It is also negotiating with Boeing to accelerate more of the 30 787s it has on order to allow it to replace its A330s.
Separately, Al-Baker told reporters at Farnborough that he is pressing Airbus to decide on an A330 passenger to freighter conversion program as the airline would like to use the aircraft to replace its A300Fs, although it was encountering resistance from Airbus due to the likelihood of it cannibalising the market for new build A330Fs. “We are talking to Airbus about conversions and if we have no option from them, then we will have to look to Boeing to supply us converted freighters, either 777-200s or 767s, and I’m sure Boeing will oblige,” he said.
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