Qatar Airways on expansion spree

DUBAI —Qatar Airways, which is participating in the Dubai 2005 airshow, recently signed a letter of intent to acquire 60 new generation Airbus A350s worth $10.6 billion and is expected to finalise firm orders for 20 Boeing 777 worth $4.6 billion very soon. The airline operates a fleet of 42 all-Airbus aircraft which will almost triple in size to 110 jets by 2015.

By Moushumi Das Chaudhury

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Published: Tue 22 Nov 2005, 11:11 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 5:24 PM

Nawaf A Al Tamimi, senior media relations offficer of Qatar Airways, told Khaleej Times, “ The total order is worth $15.2 billion and negotiations are under way with Boeing and the airline will shortly commit to the purchase of at least 20 Boeing B777 aircraft of three variants, the B777-300ER, B777-200LR and B777-200F. Regarding the Airbus A350, the purchase will be comprised of 60 units of A350-800 and the A350-900 variants. ’‘

When asked about the delivery of the aircrafts, he said: “The Airbus A350 aircraft will be delivered between mid-2010 and 2015, first to supplement and then replace the A330 and the initial B777 order will be delivered between 2007 and 2010. These will help to facilitate the strong growth which is anticipated with the opening of the new Doha International Airport in 2009.’‘

Regarding the network expansion and new destinations to be launched this year to complete the target of 70 destinations, Al Tamimi said: “At present, the airline is flying to 67 destinations worldwide and last week we launched our flight to the Kenyan capital Nairobi, while services to the Spanish capital Madrid will commence on December 2 and on December 15, flights will start for Berlin and we will reach the target of 69 destinations.’’

According to Akbar Al Baker, chief executive officer, Qatar Airways, “Dubai Air Show always attracts the leading players from the world's aviation industry and this event gives us the opportunity to network and meet our business partners. Our expansion is a commitment by the State of Qatar to develop the country as a key aviation hub in the Middle East over the next few years.’’

The airline is one of the fastest growing carriers in the world with expansion averaging 40 per cent year on year and during the 2004-05 financial year, passenger numbers carried rose sharply to 4.6 million with projected figures of six million in the 12 -month 2005/06 financial period.

Qatar airways is also one of the launch customers of the twin deck A380-800 superjumbo capable of carrying 555 passengers and has ordered four A380s with a delivery schedule beginning in 2009.

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