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Qatar Airways boosts Boeing at Farnborough

AFP

An Airbus A380 (R) taxis past a Boeing 787 Dreamliner (L) at the Farnborough air show in Hampshire, England, on July 15, 2014An Airbus A380 (R) taxis past a Boeing 787 Dreamliner (L) at the Farnborough air show in Hampshire, England, on July 15, 2014

An Airbus A380 (R) taxis past a Boeing 787 Dreamliner (L) at the Farnborough air show in Hampshire, England, on July 15, 2014An Airbus A380 (R) taxis past a Boeing 787 Dreamliner (L) at the Farnborough air show in Hampshire, England, on July 15, 2014

Qatar Airways gave Boeing a lift on Wednesday, concluding a deal for 50 of the US planemaker's revamped long-haul passenger jets and proposing to buy the same amount again.

On the third day of the Farnborough airshow near London, Boeing won a passenger and freight planes order with Qatar potentially worth more than $40 billion (29.5 billion euros) at list prices.

Purchasers of such aircraft tend to receive significant discounts on the prices presented at airshows however.

The first two days of Farnborough were dominated by Boeing's European rival Airbus, which secured 105 firm orders and commitments for its new A330neo passenger plane -- from air leasing companies and the airline AirAsia X.

"Leasing companies can be relied on to have their fingers on the pulse of the market," Jefferies analyst Sandy Morris told AFP.

"My conclusion is that they see an attractive opportunity and, by aerospace standards, a pretty short-term opportunity at that."

Launched at Farnborough on Monday, the neo plane is a revamped version of the A330, sporting engine upgrades to provide more economical long-haul travel.

Boeing is also changing the engines on its 777 model, helping it to secure new sales as economic recovery picks up around the globe.

On Wednesday, Qatar Airways said it had finalised a deal to buy 50 new generation 777-9X planes from Boeing worth $18.9 billion.

The order was first announced as a commitment at the Dubai airshow in 2013.

Qatar added here that it had also agreed a commitment for 50 more of the jets, which if exercised would bring the total order value to $37.7 billion at list prices.

As well as buying up to 100 passenger jets, Qatar said it intended to purchase four 777 freighter planes with an option for four more.

"The Boeing 777 is the backbone of our fleet and is highly amenable to the standards Qatar Airways upholds," said the airline's chief executive Akbar Al Baker.

"We look forward to building on our legacy with the next-generation 777-9X."

Production of the 777X is set to begin in 2017, with the first delivery targeted for 2020. Boeing has so far won 300 orders and commitments from six customers for the plane.

First deliveries of the Airbus 330neo are scheduled for the end of 2017 meanwhile.

Elsewhere at the air show, China's Hainan Airlines said it was close to a deal to buy 50 fuel-efficient 737 MAX passenger planes from Boeing.

The commitment for the single-aisle 737 MAX 8s, worth more than a combined $5.1 billion at catalogue prices, is subject to approval by the Chinese government, the companies said.

"The new 737 MAX will help our airline grow, become more efficient and offer five-star service for our passengers," said Hainan Group chairman Adam Tan.

- Airbus order -

For Airbus, Air Mauritius on Wednesday said it would expand and modernise its long-haul fleet with an outline agreement for four of the planemaker's A350-900 aircraft valued at $1.36 billion.

The airline added that it planned to lease two other wide-body A350-900s.

"These highly comfortable and fuel-efficient aircraft will fit nicely into our existing Airbus fleet," said Air Mauritius chief executive Andries Viljoen.

Date created : 2014-07-16