Qatar announces Airbus, Boeing aircraft orders after Dubai drama
Published: November 16, 2011
Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker. By Geoffrey Thomas
Qatar Airways (QR) ordered 50 Airbus A320neos and five A380s, worth a reported $ 6.5 billion at the Dubai Airshow—alongside a Boeing order for two 777 freighters worth $ 560 million—but the Airbus order was only secured after some high drama.
A press conference between Airbus and QR was called off by the carrier, who then held a press conference with Boeing.
QR CEO Akbar Al Baker told media that there “was an impasse” between his airline and Airbus, which he accused of “still learning how to build aircraft.”
After announcing the 777F order, questions from media centered on the Airbus standoff.
“We have canceled the announcement. There is an impasse. If this is resolved, fine, if not, bye-bye,” Al Baker said.
On Boeing, Al Baker said that while there had been stress in the relationship, all friends have “ups and downs but it doesn’t mean you end your relationship.”
Later on, a second Airbus/QR press conference was called and the reported impasse was resolved. Airbus COO-customers John Leahy said that QR supported the development of the Airbus A320neo very early on.
Pratt & Whitney announced Tuesday that QR has selected its PurePower PW1100G-JM engines for its order of 50 firm A320neo family aircraft. The deal includes 100 PW1100G-JM engines with a PureSolutionSM maintenance service agreement, P&W said. Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2015.
“It is with great pride that we are announcing this large order today, including an additional five A380s,” Leahy said. “We appreciate having built a unique relationship with our friends at Qatar Airways over the years.”