QR signs Airbus deal

Qatar Airways has signed a contract with Airbus for 14 aircraft including four firm orders and 10 options in a deal valued at US $3 billion. The signing confirms the orders that were announced at Paris in June.

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By  Neil Denslow Published  December 9, 2003

Qatar Airways has signed a contract with Airbus for 14 aircraft including four firm orders and 10 options in a deal valued at US $3 billion. The signing confirms the orders that were announced at Paris in June.

The carrier has placed a firm order for two A380 superjumbos with options for two more; deliveries will start in early 2009. Deliveries of the Airbus A340-600s will begin in June 2006.

QR will introduce the 376 tonne maximum take off weight version of the A340-600, which will be powered by four Rolls-Royce Trent 500 engines. A decision is yet to be made about the power plants for the A380s.

"We see a need for the A340-600 on our medium to high-capacity long-haul routes, as well as for the larger A380 on our most heavily travelled services," says Qatar Airways’ CEO, Akbar AI-Baker. "And we look forward to the commonality benefits that our all-Airbus fleet will bring us in both cost savings and operational flexibility."

The carrier is currently has the largest all-Airbus fleet in the Middle East, which is currently mainly made up of Airbus A330s and A320s. It will become the first carrier in the region to take delivery of the Airbus A330-300 in September 2004.

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