An endorsement from one of the Gulf superstars will weigh heavily in Boeing’s favor as the U.S. manufacturer continues to work out its rebound from the Dreamliner grounding earlier this year.
Qatar Airways Ltd. is set to place an order for more Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliners at the Paris Air Show next week as the planemaker seeks to build momentum for a new version of the jet, people familiar with discussions said.
The Qatar purchase is a top-up to 30 787s the carrier previously agreed to buy, said two people, who asked not to be named because talks are private. The accord will spearhead a series of Dreamliner sales at the industry gathering as Boeing starts booking orders for a new model, the 787-10X, one of the people said.
Boeing, which is battling Airbus SAS for wide-body orders, is looking to overcome missteps on the Dreamliner, including a three-month grounding of the global fleet because of an electrical fault. The Chicago-based planemaker’s -10X, the largest Dreamliner, goes head-to-head against the Airbus A350- 900, which conducted its maiden flight today.
Tom Enders, chief executive officer of Airbus-parent European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co., said yesterday that “a few hundred” sales at the show for Airbus will include A350 orders. Among them are new commitments for the largest version, the A350-1000 due from 2017, one person said.
A spokesman for Qatar Air wasn’t immediately available to comment outside regular business hours in the Middle East. Boeing had no comment, spokesman Marc Birtel said.
Boeing’s 787-10X has already won a commitment from Singapore Airlines Ltd. for 30 planes, pending confirmation it will build the aircraft from 2018.
With assistance from Andrea Rothman in Toulouse, Mary Jane Credeur in Atlanta, Julie Johnsson in Chicago and Thomas Black in Paris. Editors: Benedikt Kammel, Chris Jasper.
To contact the reporters on this story: Robert Wall in London at [email protected]; Deena Kamel Yousef in Dubai at [email protected]. To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at [email protected].
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