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Qatar Airways now looks to Airbus

Akbar-Al-Baker

"The 787 should be an A330 killer but it is late," says Qatar Airways' CEO

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May 7, 2013 11:02 by



Qatar’s decision to look at more A330s does not mean it will ignore the 787-10X, a design concept which Baker has praised for promising low seat-mile costs, but highlights the tough battle being fought between old and new technology at the smaller end of the widebody jet market.

777X ORDERS

At the larger ‘mini-jumbo’ end of that market, rival Gulf airline Emirates said on Monday it would replace a major part of its 777 fleet with Boeing’s new 777X offering.

“It’ll be a large order,” the airline’s president Tim Clark told reporters, without specifying the number of planes he plans to order.

Fast-growing Gulf carriers are expected to be the first and biggest customers for Boeing’s latest offering, which has been presented to customers around the world.

Emirates is the largest 777 customer with a fleet of 175 jets.

“I’m not saying we’ll be buying 175 of them (777X) but we need to replace (the 777s) from 2017,” said Clark.

He added that Emirates would be looking at both the 8X and the 9X version of the 777X. The 350-seat 777-8X is expected to be the world’s longest-range jetliner.

Gulf airlines are expanding their reach globally, ordering more planes and forging alliances with other carriers.

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways took a 24 percent stake in India’s Jet Airways in April for $379 million, while Baker said on Monday Qatar Airways would like to cooperate with India’s biggest domestic carrier Indigo.

“We hope that on the level of the management we will begin talking to them,” Baker said. “I don’t want to talk about stakes. I don’t have so much money to buy stakes in airlines.”

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