Qatar Airways has agreed to purchase as many as 100 Boeing airplanes for up to USD 18.6 billion, the companies jointly announced on Saturday.
Qatar will buy 30 of the new-generation Boeing 787 and 10 Boeing 777, both widebody aircraft, for USD 11.7 billion. Qatar Airways also signed a letter of intent to purchase up to 60 of the narrow-body Boeing 737 valued at about USD 6.9 billion.
Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al-Baker said that the order was one of the largest in the country’s history and would help meet growing demand for air travel.
Al-Baker acknowledged the decision to go with Boeing also was due to “ongoing issues” with Boeing rival Airbus.
Al-Baker in April publicly blasted Airbus over delays in deliveries of the single-aisle Airbus A320neo due to problems with its engine. In June, Qatar Airways cancelled an order for one of the planes.
“Boeing has started building airplanes before everybody else,” Al-Baker told a news conference in Washington attended by government officials from the US and Qatar.
“They make the best airplanes, even if their competitors will not like me saying this.”
The contract for the 737 marks the first time Qatar Airways has ordered single-aisle planes from Boeing in more than 15 years, the companies said.
“Our partnership with Qatar Airways has grown and strengthened tremendously over the years and I look forward to the time when its fleet will feature an increasing number of both our single and twin-aisle airplanes,” said Ray Conner, chief executive of Boeing’s commercial airplane division.
The companies did not release a time-frame for deliveries.