Qatar Airways and Boeing finalised the earlier order for five B777 freighters during a ceremony at the White House on 9 July 2019.
In the presence of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar and US President Donald Trump, a signing ceremony between Qatar Airways group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker and Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO, Kevin McAllister.
The order, worth USD 1.8 billion at current list prices was previously announced with the signing of a Memorandum of Undertsanding at the Paris Air Show in June.
Commenting on the deal, Al Baker, says: “It is an honour to sign this landmark order for five Boeing 777 freighters in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar and US President Donald Trump.
“We are very pleased to extend our long-term relationship with Boeing Commercial Airplanes. This order will enable Qatar Airways Cargo to grow to become the number one global cargo carrier this year in both fleet and network and is a demonstration of our ongoing commitment to US manufacturing.”
Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO, Kevin McAllister, adds: “It is an honour to be signing this agreement today with Qatar Airways, who has been our long-haul partner for more than 20 years. As one of the world’s leading air cargo carriers, we are delighted that Qatar Airways continues to expand its freighter fleet with the 777 Freighter and we deeply appreciate their business and positive impact on Boeing, our employees, suppliers and communities.”
Qatar’s cargo volumes increased by 10 per cent in 2018 over 2017 and its products have also performed well with positive tonnage growth and several enhancements introduced. The carrier added belly-hold cargo capacity to several key destinations in its network and also received two brand new B777 freighters in 2018. It introduced freighters to two new destinations in May 2019; Guadalajara in Mexico and Almaty in Kazakhstan.
Qatar Airways Cargo, the freight division of Qatar Airways has witnessed significant growth over the past years, faster than any of its competitors, it says. From three A300-600 freighters in 2003, today it is one of the top cargo carriers globally with a fleet of 23 freighters and over 250 belly-hold cargo aircraft. Cargo is a very important, profitable division of the Qatar Airways Group and makes an essential and paramount contribution to the group, it adds.
Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of more than 250 aircraft via its hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA) to more than 160 destinations worldwide. The airline has recently launched an array of exciting new destinations, including Rabat, Morocco; Izmir, Turkey; Malta; Davao, Philippines; Lisbon, Portugal; Mogadishu, Somalia, to name just a few. The airline will add Langkawi, Malaysia to its extensive route network in October 2019.