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Qatar Airways weighs Boeing 777X deal in boost to flagging sales

July 18, 2022 Updated Mon., July 18, 2022 at 1:56 p.m.

The Boeing 777X test aircraft is shown on the tarmac at Changi Airport, in Singapore, on Feb. 13, 2022.   (Bloomberg )
The Boeing 777X test aircraft is shown on the tarmac at Changi Airport, in Singapore, on Feb. 13, 2022.  (Bloomberg )
By Danny Lee and Julie Johnsson Bloomberg

Qatar Airways is considering another order for Boeing Co.’s 777X jetliner, a potential boost for the hulking airplane that’s running years behind schedule and struggling to gain sales.

When asked if Qatar intends to stick with the 777X, Al Baker responded: “Absolutely, we will even give them a bigger order.”

The Doha-based carrier is a launch customer for both passenger and freighter versions of the new 777 family, the largest aircraft in Boeing’s product line-up and an heir to the hump-backed 747 jumbo, whose production is slated to end in a few months.

Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways’ chief executive officer, didn’t specify which version he’s considering or any potential deal size.

He affirmed his interest in the 777X to reporters at the Farnborough International Airshow in the wake of the latest delay, which pushes the jet’s commercial debut to 2025 – about five years behind schedule.

Qatar has 74 orders for the twin-engine jet, which is making its Farnborough debut, and signed on as the initial customer for a freighter version at a White House ceremony in January.

Boeing has landed just 376 orders in total for the 777X, and questions over the jet’s future have swirled as the delays mounted.

Al Baker also confirmed that a memorandum of understanding had lapsed for an order for 25 of Boeing’s 737 Max jets, unveiled during the same state visit.

The agreement’s end had been disclosed earlier as part of a contentious dispute with European planemaker Airbus SE over quality issues with its A350 wide-body aircraft.

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