Qatar Airways places $4.8bn order for 10 Boeing 777-8Xs, four 777 freighters

The orders were placed on the first day of the Paris Airshow

Qatar Airways has announced an order for 10 firm 777-8Xs and four 777 freighters on the opening day of the 2015 Paris Airshow.

The order is valued at $4.8bn at current list prices, a statement said.

Qatar Airways already has 50 777-9X on order.

“Acquiring technologically-advanced airplanes such as the 777X is integral to our expansion strategy,” said Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways.

“The order for four 777 freighters underpins the value that this airplane has also brought to our rapidly growing cargo operations,” he added.

Boeing’s new jet, the 777X, will include new engines, a new composite wing and will leverage technologies from the 787 Dreamliner.

The 777X family includes the 777-8X – 5 per cent more efficient than its competitor at all ranges; and the 777-9X – 12 per cent more fuel efficient than the competition, according to Boeing.

Design of the 777X is underway and production is set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2020 to launch customer Emirates, the US manufacturer said.

With this order, the 777X has accumulated 320 orders and commitments from six customers worldwide.

“The order for an additional 10 777Xs is a further endorsement by Qatar Airways of the airplane which enjoyed the largest product launch in commercial jetliner history,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Ray Conner.

Boeing and competitor Airbus are hoping to sign several deals with Middle East operators at the airshow.

Saudi Arabian Airlines announced earlier on Monday that it will buy 20 of Airbus’ new A330-300 Regional aircraft as well as 30 A320neo jets in a deal worth about $8.2bn at list prices.

Boeing expects that the Middle East will require more than 2,900 new airplanes valued at $640bn between 2014 to 2033.