The agreements include a firm order for two airplanes previously attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing Commercial Airplanes Orders and Deliveries website, plus a commitment for an additional seven airplanes. The total value of the agreement is $2.8 billion at current list prices.
The Doha-based airline currently operates 35 Boeing passenger and cargo 777s of various types, including 22 777-300ERs, nine 777-200LR (Longer Range) airplanes and four 777 Freighters.
The two firm airplanes give Qatar Airways a backlog of nine Boeing 777s. When the additional seven become firm, the backlog will rise to 16.
“With its reliability, economics and range capability, the 777 will continue to play a key role in enabling Qatar Airways to operate more direct non-stop flights from our hub in Doha to destinations in many markets including Australasia and the United States,” said Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker, speaking at a press conference at Le Bourget on the opening day of the Paris Air Show.
“We have already shown a desire to open up new destinations in the U.S., and the Boeing 777 will further feature in our expansion plans in this part of the world.”
Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 125 aircraft to 128 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and The Americas.
Qatar Airways took delivery of its first Boeing 777 in November 2007. In September 2011, the airline received a 777-200LR that became the 100th airplane to join its fleet.
“It is a great honor to have Qatar Airways operate the 777 as its long-haul flagship aircraft,” said Ray Conner, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The 777’s unrivaled economics and customer-preferred passenger experience make it a cornerstone of Qatar Airways’ success.”
The demand for the Boeing 777 led to an increased production rate of 8.3 per month — 100 airplanes per year — in February 2013. In the past three years, the 777 program has increased rate two times, first from five airplanes per month to seven in 2011, then to the current, all-time high rate of 8.3.
As of May 2013, 1,105 777s have been delivered and a total of 1,452 have been ordered by 68 customers around the globe.