Qatar Airways has placed a follow-on order for six Boeing 777-300ERs, the companies announced yesterday at the show. Valued at $1.7 billion at list prices, the order brings to 40 the number of 777s Qatar has ordered since it signed its first contract for the Boeing widebodies in November 2007. Boeing recently delivered Qatar’s 25th 777. The Doha-based airline now operates eight 777-200LRs, fifteen 777-300ERs and two long-range 777 Freighters.
“We are expanding our international network rapidly and adding new routes and destinations that will extend Qatar Airways’ reach across the globe, especially as we aim to open up more nonstop routes to popular and underserved cities around the world,” said Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways’ CEO. Next week, noted Al Baker, Qatar will serve the Canadian market for the first time when it launches service between Doha and Montreal using one of its 777s.
“Despite a few hiccups along the way, as all friends have, our two companies share an excellent bond,” he added.
Also on hand for the signing ceremony yesterday, Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Jim Albaugh expressed his appreciation for Qatar’s business and Al Baker’s candor. “One of the things I love about Akbar is I always get feedback on how I’m doing,” said Albaugh.
In 2009 Al Baker went public with his displeasure over the well-documented delays of the Boeing 787, at one time threatening to withdraw a firm order for 30 Dreamliners. He famously alleged that Boeing “is run by bean-counters and lawyers.”
“Sometimes we lose our way, just like I did when I was coming to this airshow,” joked Al Baker. “What is important is that we correct the wrong things that we do. This is what has happened.”