The US aircraft manufacturer Boeing won a blockbuster order worth $34 billion from Qatar Airways, giving a hard blow to its long-time rival Airbus. At a ceremony held in White House, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker signed the order for 25 Boeing 737 Max 10 narrowbody jets, with an option to buy another 25 aircraft in future. The Doha-based airline also became the first customer for Boeing’s freighter version of its newest jetliner Boeing 777X by ordering 34 of its kind. It also signed to buy 16 more of its jets. Boeing expects the passenger version of 777X to release for service in 2023.
Boeing - Qatar Airways deal would bolster Boeing’s strength in the air freighter market. Calling the deal an absolute world-beater, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said that the company would offer Qatar Airways the highest payload and lowest fuel costs.
Boeing’s shares surged 5.1% after the order, ending at $200.24 on Wednesday evening.
Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dave Calhoun, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker and other officials were present at the signing ceremony. Incidentally, the event coincided with a meeting between Qatar’s ruling emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and US President Joe Biden.
The deal with Boeing came less than two weeks after Qatar Airways ended its long-time association with Airbus, with which the carrier has an ugly dispute ongoing for months over a surface paint degradation issue on Airbus A350 planes. Over the dispute, Airbus also revoked the airline’s order for A321 neo aircraft, an unusual step by a plane manufacturer that further escalated the issue.
Boeing 777X Freighter Aircraft Specifications Announced
Boeing’s newest freighter 777X is a giant, twin-engine plane powered by General Electric. Its market entry would be in 2027. Once launched, the Boeing 777X freighter aircraft will be the world’s largest twin-engine cargo plane with 4.410 nautical miles and a maximum payload of 118 metric tons. Its rival Airbus was planning to launch a freighter version of its A350 jetliner for long, a plan yet to surface.
According to Boeing, the new cargo jets will fly almost the same payload as a 747-400 freighter but with 25% lower emissions.