Qatar Airways' chief executive said the Middle-Eastern carrier wants to be a launch customer for Boeing's 777X mini-jumbo jet, and that the airline plans to open at least three new routes to the US in the next 12 to 18 months."We are very keen on the 777-8 and -9X aircraft and we are receiving presentations from Boeing in this regard," Akbar Al Baker, CEO of the Doha-based airline, said in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday."We would definitely want to be the launch customer," he said. "We hope to be one of the launch customers."But he said that since the aircraft has only been offered recently, "we need to go through the paces."Boeing said on May 2 that it had begun offering the new jet, setting up a 'mini-jumbo' war with European rival Airbus and its competing plane.Baker said he has no concern about folding wings or other novel design features of the proposed 777X. Boeing is considering folding wings to allow more aircraft to fit into constrained areas without airports undertaking expensive modifications, he said.On Qatar Airways' interest in ordering additional Airbus A330s, he said a possible deal is under discussion, but not close to being signed."We have asked for a proposal from Airbus to offer us between 10 and 15 A330s over a period of around 24 months to mitigate the shortage of aircraft we have due to the delays in 787 deliveries and especially now with the grounding of those airplanes recently," he said.Turning to the company's strategy, he said it planned to open new service to the US cities of Boston, Detroit and Atlanta, and possibly others, over the next 12 to 18 months.Qatar Airways already flies to New York, Washington, DC, Houston, and Chicago and plans to add service to Philadelphia next year. Source: Reuters
Gravity always wins!