Qatar Airways ordered 10 Boeing 777-8X jetliners at the Paris Air Show on Monday, bringing its total orders for the 777X family of revamped long-range jets to 60.
The airline also said it was ordering four 777 freighters.
The orders, which are all firm contracts, are worth a total of US$4.8 billion at list prices.
Announcing the deal at the air show, Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker took a swipe at the head of US carrier Delta Airlines, which has accused Qatar Airways and other major Gulf carriers of receiving huge subsidies – a charge they deny.
“I hope that the gentleman at Delta knows that we are creating even more jobs in the United States by ordering more airplanes,” he said.
Mr Al Baker also reiterated a threat to quit the oneworld airline alliance in a spat with American Airlines, one of three US carriers also involved in the subsidy row. Qatar Airways joined the alliance in 2013.
Its top executive has said American is inhibiting its business by restricting terminal access at New York’s John F Kennedy airport.
“We are only committed to oneworld provided the spirit in which we joined oneworld exists,” Mr Al Baker said.
“If we are being cornered by an airline that invited us to be part of the alliance and is now acting against our interests … blocking inventory and blocking us gates at JFK, of course we have no purpose to be in an alliance.
“If we find that we cannot have a settlement to this very contentious issue, yes we will exit from oneworld.”
Boeing likewise signed a memorandum with the Asian carrier Garuda Indonesia for 30 787-9 Dreamliners with a list price of about $7.7bn, together with 30 shorter-range 737 Max 8 airliners worth about $3.2bn. Airbus signed a letter of intent with the carrier for 30 A350 wide bodies, the European manufacturer's newest model. That agreement has a list price of more than $9bn.
Airbus also announced that Saudi Arabian Airlines will become the first customer for a regional version of its A330-300 airliner, and will buy 20 of the planes, together with 30 single-aisle A320s with current-generation engines. The European planemaker has sought to gain a bigger slice of the wide-body market, which has historically been a Boeing stronghold, and both companies have brought their newest aircraft to the event to showcase their capabilities.
The Paris show, which alternates with the Farnborough expo southwest of London, is set to provide a further order lift for both companies in the narrow-body market, the backbone of most global airline fleets.
The largest transaction could be for 100 Boeing Maxes for lessor AerCap Holdings, people familiar with the matter said. That would be valued at more than $10bn, based on the $106.9 million list price for the top-selling Max 8.
Airbus is close to a sale of 60 A320neos to General Electric’s leasing unit, other people said. Lessors are prized buyers because they place planes with multiple customers. GE Capital Aviation Services has previously bought Maxes and the neo, while AerCap had neos on its books but none of the new Boeings. GE is the sole engine supplier on the Max.
Among the first leasing companies to place orders at the show was Air Lease, run by Steve Udvar-Hazy, which said it will buy one additional A350-900, as well as one additional A321ceo and three A320ceos. Customers typically get steep discounts on aircraft orders and don’t pay full list prices.
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