Qatar Airways set for Mideast's first Dreamliner
Boeing will deliver the first 787 Dreamliner to the Middle East region in the second-quarter of 2012, starting with Qatar Airways, Boeing’s president for Middle East and North Africa said.
Next in line for deliveries will be Royal Jordanian, followed by Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, Jeff Johnson told Bloomberg News in an interview in Doha on Wednesday.
Boeing has postponed deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner seven times, resulting in a three-year delay, after grappling with new materials, engine supply disruptions and other problems.
More than 830 of the jets are on order to 55 airlines, including Gulf carriers Qatar Airways, Gulf Air and Amman-based Royal Jordanian.
Akbar Al Baker, the CEO of Qatar Airways which has 30 787s on order and an option for 30 more, said in December he would consider cancelling the order if there were further delays in the plane’s delivery.
Royal Jordanian CEO Hussein Dabbas said in May the airline had suffered “huge” losses as a result of delays to the fuel-efficient 787, at a time of $100–plus oil.
The CEO of the Chicago-based planemaker told Arabian Business in June there was “no question” it had disappointed its customers, and said compensation talks were ongoing.
Qatar Airways is one of the largest buyers of new aircraft, with orders for 80 Airbus A350s , six Boeing 777-300ER and five Airbus SAS A380s, among others.
Boeing in May forecast a $4 trillion market for new aircraft over the next two decades, and named the fast-growing Middle East airlines as a major driver for growth.
The region will account for 2,520 – or 7.5 percent – of the aircraft orders expected to 2030, Boeing said, with a combined value of $450bn.