Qatar Airways is in advanced talks with Boeing to buy up to 30 narrowbody planes and will not rule out additional cancellations of delayed deliveries from rival Airbus, the airline's chief executive said on Monday.
Earlier this year, Qatar Airways cancelled its first delivery of the narrowbody Airbus A320neo jet due after delays in delivery and has said it must source alternate planes to meet demand.
“We are quite advanced in talks with Boeing”, Akbar Al Baker told journalists at the ongoing Farnborough Airshow.
“It's between 25 and 30 aircraft, a combination of the two,” he added, referring to the current 737NG model and the successor 737 MAX.
Asked if a deal might be signed this week at the Farnborough Airshow, he said he didn't know. “We still have a few things to iron out.”
Al Baker said there had been no progress in the dispute with Airbus on A320s and it was not clear if there would be additional cancellations. He said he hoped to get a second A350 of 11 by the end of the month despite a delay. - Reuters
Earlier this week, Qatar Airways Group, the parent company of the Doha-based airline, reported a 328% jump in net profits at its airline operations.
The carrier, owned by the government of Qatar, posted a net profit of QR1.6 billion ($439 million) for the financial year to March 31, up from the QR374 million ($103 million) in profit recorded for the previous year.
It is the first time Qatar Airways Group has released its financial results, which have come under scrutiny after US airlines and their unions accused it of competing unfairly through state subsidies.
Qatar Airways has denied the allegations and said US airlines are losing market share due to poor service.
The airline said that at a group level it reduced its costs by 1.5% and increased its cash and bank balance by 54%, despite a growth in operations and an adverse movement in foreign currency exchange rates.
Qatar Airways plans to launch 17 new destinations in the current financial year, a figure that includes recently-launched services to Adelaide, Atlanta, Marrakesh and Yerevan.
In May Qatar Airways raised its stake in International Consolidated Airlines Group, owner of British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus, to 15.01% and said it would consider acquiring more of the company over time.