Qatar Airways’ CEO, Akbar Al Baker, with Airbus’ Chief Operating Officer for Customer, John Leahy
Qatar Airways has announced a deal with Airbus to acquire 88 narrow- and wide-body aircraft. The agreement will see the airline take delivery of 50 Airbus A320neo aircraft, with a further 30 on option, together with five A380s and options for a further three. The five new A380s will double the number of superjumbos ordered by the carrier, to 10. Deliveries are due to begin in 2013.
The announcement was made at a press conference during the Dubai Air Show by Qatar Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, Akbar Al Baker.
“The A320neo promises to be a great aircraft which is why we have chosen it to form the backbone of our future single aisle expansion,” Al Baker said. “Together with our previous orders for the A350 extra wide body aircraft and new orders for additional A380s, we are continuing to invest in an integrated Family of the world’s most modern and fuel efficient aircraft.”
The A320neo is the new-engined, fuel-efficient version of the single-aisle A320 aircraft. Of the 50 firm orders placed by Qatar Airways, 30 are A320s, 14 are A321s and six are A319s.
“Qatar Airways supported the development of the Airbus A320neo very early on. It is with great pride that we are announcing this large order today, including additional Airbus A380s. We have built up a strong relationship with our friends at Qatar Airways over the years, and today this partnership is stronger than ever,” said Airbus’ Chief Operating Officer for Customers, John Leahy.
The Qatar Airways fleet is made up of 74 Airbus aircraft, comprising A340s, A330s, A300 freighters and A320s. Aside from the A380s and A320s pending delivery, Qatar Airways has ordered 80 A350s, which makes it the largest customer for the new aircraft type.