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The Arab airline Qatar Airways will sign a contract for 50 machines as part of this, the Bloomberg news agency reported on Sunday evening, citing people familiar with the matter. Meanwhile, Boeing’s European rival Airbus is in dispute with Qatar Airways. It is about defects in the surface of the passenger jet A350, of which Airbus also wants to bring a cargo version onto the market by 2025.
The cargo version of the Boeing 777X had been awaited in the industry for some time. The 777X is the modernized and less fuel-thirsty new version of the Boeing 777, which has brought the US group large market shares both as a passenger jet and as a cargo aircraft. With the 777X, however, Boeing had to struggle with development and certification problems. In the case of the passenger version, the group had to postpone delivery of the first copy to the end of 2023, which is around three years behind the original plan.
To date, Boeing has almost completely dominated the world market for large cargo aircraft. Airbus boss Guillaume Faury wants to break the dominance of the US group in this segment with the A350 freighter and has already collected the first orders. Qatar Airways boss Akbar Al Baker also said it was possible to order the Airbus freighter last summer. However, the recent litigation over paintwork damage to the passenger version of the A350 has poisoned relations between the airline and Airbus.
According to Bloomberg, Qatar Airways is expected to place firm orders for 15 freighters from Boeing. The remaining 35 machines will be a combination of purchase options and the reallocation of existing orders. The major order is to be announced at a meeting between US President Joe Biden and the head of state of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, this Monday in Washington. A Qatar spokesman declined to comment on the airline’s plans.
Boeing shares, listed on the NYSE, temporarily gained 2.50 percent to $195.33.
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