Qatar Airways has placed an order for up to 100 Boeing aircraft in deal worth an estimated $18.6bn (£14.9bn).
The state-owned airline has agreed to buy 30 of Boeing’s 787-9 Dreamliners and 10 of its b-market 777-300 aircraft worth $11.7bn. At the same time it said it intends to order up to 60 737 MAX 8s, valued at $6.9bn.
The bumper aircraft spree grows Qatar’s order backlog of Boeing airplanes from 65 to 105 and will more than double its current fleet, which consists of 84 Boeing aircraft, all delivered to Qatar’s flag carrier in the last nine years.
Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker claims that the airline’s expansion is one of the fastest in aviation history and the latest deal will power its continued growth.
The airline’s rapid growth in recent years has included Qatar bolstering its stake in British Airways-owner International Airlines Group to more than a fifth of the FTSE 100 company earlier this year. Qatar said its interest in IAG as “purely financial”.
Late last month Qatar Airways strengthened its ties to British Airways owner with a pact to co-operate on scheduling and pricing of flights.
Under the new deal the airlines will take part in ‘code-sharing’, so both airlines can sell tickets for the same flight, on all non-stop flights between the UK and Doha. The deal will also include connecting services to destinations in the UK, continental Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa.