Qatar Airways to order up to 50 Boeing 737 Max

Image: © Boeing

After its recent dispute with European manufacturer Airbus over damaged Airbus A350 fuselages and a subsequent lawsuit, which resulted in Airbus canceling an order for 50 A321neo from the airline, Qatar Airways signed an agreement with Boeing to instead purchase up to 50 of its 737 Max family aircraft. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) covers 25 firm orders and 25 options for the 737 Max 10.

The airline had previously ordered 40 737 Max aircraft for its short-lasted subsidiary Air Italy, which shut down in early 2020. After the demise of Air Italy, it opted to cancel the order for the remaining aircraft. This new order is worth almost US$7 billion at list prices if all 25 options are exercised. As the largest member of the Boeing 737 Max family is still in flight testing and certification is anticipated for 2023, it is unlikely that Qatar Airways can receive the first aircraft from the new order before 2024, that is if there are no further hick-ups for the 737 Max family.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al-Baker said on the deal and the 737 Max: “Qatar Airways very much looks forward to adding the 737-10 to its fleet, with this new variant of the 737 being ideally suited to our short haul network, allowing us an opportunity to further enhance our product offering for our customers, modernize our fleet and operate the most efficient aircraft in its category.”

At the same time with this order announcement, Qatar Airways was also unveiled as the launch customer for the new Boeing 777-8F, a freighter version of the yet to be delivered 777X.