Qatar Airways discusses huge Boeing deal

Qatar Airways is in talks with Boeing about a possible order for 60 7E7s. The airline is also to delay deliveries of its A380 super jumbos.

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By  Laura Barnes Published  November 11, 2004

Qatar Airways is in talks with Boeing about a possible order for 60 7E7s. The airline has also stated that it is to delay deliveries of its A380 super jumbos. The carrier, which currently deploys an all-Airbus fleet, is considering purchasing 60 7E7s because it wants "to stay at the cutting edge of technology," CEO Akbar Al Baker told ATWOnline at the World Travel Market in London. The purchase would be a combination of firm orders and options with deliveries starting in 2008. Some analysts suggest this announcement could be a ploy to force Airbus to cut its price on the expected A350 - the rival to Boeing’s 7E7s. "We're ready to sign an MOU from the moment Boeing crystallises the definitions of the dash 9," he added. "We will not go for the 7E7 if they don't specify the dash 9. We want to operate a family of aircraft, not just one aircraft type." The 7E7-9 would comprise the bulk of the order, with the airline buying only 8-10 7E7-8s. Al Baker also said Qatar Airways has asked Airbus to defer deliveries of its A380s, until the second quarter of 2009. The airline has ordered two A380s with options for two more. Delivery of the first A380-800 was scheduled for 2007, but delays in the construction of the new Doha International Airport have left the airline "with no other choice than to postpone the delivery." Al Baker expects the airport, a $5.5 billion project, to be operational in 2008.

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