Qatar Airways has announced that they are buying an additional 40 Boeing airplanes, with an option of an additional 60. The firm order consists of 30 Boeing 787-9 and 10 Boeing 777-300ER. The additional option is for 60 Boeing 737 MAX.
This is a very interesting order in many ways, first of all it is Qatar airways first order of the 787-9 (they already have 30 787-8 and 30 more on order), secondly they are increasing their 777-300, which they already have 34, but they also have a firm order of 100 777-X. I guess those 10 777-300 are going to be scheduled for delivery sooner than then 777-X, so Qatar airways might be expanding quicker than originally planned.
Then there is the option for 60 Boeing 737-Max. Qatar today operates purely Airbus 320-family aircraft on their shorter routes, so the possibility to change or add Boeing must be a kick in the guts for Airbus. Qatar Airways CEO Al Baker has also for a long time been requesting for Boeing to make a new airplane slightly larger than the Boeing 737, so this might be pushing Boeing into looking further into that possibility also.
This order has been expected for a while, as Qatar Airways ‘only’ announced the order of 5 Boeing 777-300ER during Farnborough Airshow this summer, apparently the remaining part of this deal was pending Qatars approval to purchase F-15 fighters from the USA, which still has not been confirmed.
Qatar airways fleet is now set for a huge expansion over the next several years, they currently have 190 aircraft including their cargo division, and another 298 on firm order, plus those 40 announced now placing their total on order to 338, with an option of 60 more.
A breakdown of Qatar Airways fleet and orders:
- Airbus 320 family – 49 plus 79 on order – total 128
- Airbus 330 family – 29 plus 8 on order – total 37
- Airbus 340 family – 17 – total 17
- Airbus 350 family – 11 plus 69 on order – total 80
- Airbus 380 – 6 plus 7 on order – total 13
- Boeing 737 – 60 on order – total 60
- Boeing 747 – 2 – total 2
- Boeing 777 family – 54 plus 115 on order – total 169
- Boeing 787 family – 30 plus 60 on order – total 90.
This places Qatar Airways total fleet (if they do take all the deliveries and don’t get rid of any of their current fleet) to an astonishing 596 aircraft, so I guess Doha would be a place that will be recruiting lots of pilots and air traffic controllers over the next few years….