FARNBOROUGH: Qatar signs for two more 777s, accelerates 787s

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Qatar Airways has firmed up two 777 options as -200LRs and has also agreed with Boeing to accelerate its 787-8 deliveries.

The airline's first Dreamliner is now due to arrive in the fourth quarter of 2011 and five will have been delivered to the Qatar's Doha base by the first quarter of 2012, says chief executive Akbar Al Baker. He adds that the airline is in negotiations to accelerate the remainder of its 30 787 firm orders.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief executive Jim Albaugh says the delivery acceleration was made possible because "some other customers decided to take airplanes later than planned, which allowed us to move some deliveries further ahead", to which Al Baker added, "and also with a little bit of arm twisting from Qatar Airways".

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 © Qatar

The newly ordered 777s will be delivered in 2012, and the deal takes the airline's orders to 29, plus three options. The new 777-200LRs "will help us open up new long-haul destinations from our Doha hub", says Al Baker.