Qatar to meet with Boeing soon on 777X: Al Baker

Chicago
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Qatar Airways will receive a presentation from Boeing executives soon on the 777X, an aircraft type that the airline's chief executive Akbar Al Baker has reiterated his interest in.

Boeing announced in March that the General Electric GE9X will power the 777X, which will compete with the Airbus A350-900 and A350-1000. Qatar already operates the 777 and also has orders for both A350 variants.

"We will be getting a detailed presentation from Boeing soon," Al Baker tells Flightglobal on the sidelines of an event in Chicago marking the launch of the airline's inaugural flight from Doha. "Qatar Airways is keen to look into this aircraft very favourably."

Boeing has not said when the 777X will enter service, but the GE9X that will power the aircraft type is not scheduled to be certificated until May 2018. There is usually at least a one year gap between engine certification and an aircraft's entry into service.

Separately, Al Baker says Qatar Airways is still taking a wait-and-see approach before placing an order for the Bombardier CSeries. Al Baker had previously expressed interest in the narrowbody, which is scheduled to make its first flight in June.

"We are not rushed into placing an order," says Al Baker, adding that he wants to wait for the CSeries first flight and "more large orders" of the type before making a decision.

Canada's Porter Airlines announced on 10 April that it was the previously unnamed customer behind a conditional order for up to 30 CS100s.