Qatar Airways hints at 'major' order for Dubai Airshow

Carrier will make announcement at event, may add to $40bn order book.
NEWS, Aviation


State-backed Qatar Airways has said it expects to make a “major” announcement at next week’s Dubai Airshow, a spokesperson for the carrier said Tuesday.

The Gulf airline already has orders outstanding for more than 200 aircraft with a value in excess of $40bn at list prices, and said the announcement would be in line with its rapid expansion plans.

“Qatar Airways will have a formidable presence at the Dubai Airshow,” a spokesperson for the airline said in a statement to Qatar News Agency. The carrier will make a “major announcement” at the event, the spokesperson added.

CEO Akbar Al Baker in October said the carrier will make a decision on Airbus’s A320neo at the event, after failing to sign a deal for the plane at the Paris Air Show in June.

The carrier has already signed a deal for the planemaker’s A380, but the size and value of the order will not be disclosed until the Dubai show, which begins on Nov 13.

Qatar Airways is one of the world’s largest buyers of new aircraft, with orders for 80 Airbus A350s, six Boeing 777-300ER and five Airbus SAS A380s, among others.

The Doha-based carrier operates about 100 aircraft to more than 100 destinations worldwide, and plans to serve more than 120 routes by 2013 with a fleet exceeding 120 planes.

Emirates Airline, Dubai’s flagship carrier, has also said it is likely to place orders for new planes at the show. The largest international carrier has around 199 planes on order, scheduled for delivery through to 2019, but has said it may expand its fleet further.

“I would say it’s more positive that we might sign something,” Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum told reporters in September.

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