Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Qatar Airways held a signing ceremony at the Dubai Air Show today to mark the airline’s order for 30 787 Dreamliners and five 777 Freighters. The airplane deal is valued at over $6.1 billion at list prices. The airplanes were previously listed on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries Web site as unidentified.
“Our relationship with Qatar Airways has grown immensely,” said Lee Monson, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of Sales for the region. “With 57 orders spread across the core of our twin-aisle offerings, this validation of our product strategy by such a renowned airline is truly valued by Boeing’s leadership and very rewarding for the members of our dedicated Middle East team.”
In 2006, Qatar Airways announced orders for 14 777-300ERs, six 777-200LRs and two 777 Freighters. The airline is scheduled to receive its first 777-300ER later this month when the airplane will fly direct on a ferry flight from Seattle to Doha, Qatar.
“Qatar Airways’ mission is one of overall excellence,” said Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways’ CEO. “We look forward to utilizing our new Boeing airplanes so that we can further enhance service to our passengers, while also playing a pivotal role in the economic development of the State of Qatar through expanded and optimized cargo operations.”
Qatar Airways is one of only five airlines in the world with a Five Star ranking awarded by Skytrax, an independent industry monitoring agency. The airline is one of the world’s fastest growing carriers and is expected to carry more than 10 million passengers during the current financial year.
The Middle East has been experiencing continued strong air cargo growth and accounts for 5.8 percent of the world’s tonnage into, out of, and within the region. Over the past two years, Qatar boasts one of the Gulf State’s highest GDPs.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, scheduled for entry into service in 2008, provides passengers with a better flying experience and operators with a more efficient commercial jetliner. To date, 51 airlines have logged 736 orders, making the Dreamliner the most successful commercial airplane launch in history.
The 777 Freighter is the sixth and newest member of the 777 family of airplanes and builds upon the family's extensive use of advanced technologies. The 777 Freighter is based on the 777-200LR passenger model and is designed to facilitate easy interlining with the Boeing 747 Freighter fleet. Twelve customers have ordered 82 777 Freighters, which are scheduled to enter service beginning in the fourth quarter of 2008.
© 2007 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )