Boeing closed its commercial activities at the Farnborough Airshow Thursday with a firm order from Qatar Airways for twenty-five 737 Max 8s and options on another 25. The signing during a ceremony at the show sealed the terms of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) reached in January when Qatar also became the global launch customer for the 777-8 Freighter.
The deal with Qatar settles questions over Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker’s intentions after saying earlier in the show that the MoU had lapsed. The Qatar CEO did not take questions following the announcement of the firm order.
The deal came two days after Boeing opened the show with a major order from Delta Air Lines for 100 Max 10s. At the show, Delta senior v-p of fleet and TechOps supply chain Mahendra Nair acknowledged the risks of opting for the Max 10 given the possibility it would need a more modern engine indicating and crew alerting system (EICAS) to meet Congressional mandates due to take effect at the start of next year. Boeing has suggested that it would not proceed with the program if it can’t certify the aircraft in time or receive an exemption or exception.
Separately, the 777-8F drew a new customer during the show when Cargolux confirmed the airplane as its “preferred solution” to replace its 747-400 fleet. Expected to enter service in 2027, the 777-8F has drawn orders for 50 copies. At Farnborough, Boeing vice president of commercial sales and marketing Ihssane Mounir said talks over details on the numbers of airplanes and other terms continue.