Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar Al Baker has disclosed that talks with Boeing over a potential order for up to 30 737s are "quite advanced" as he examines alternatives to his stalled Airbus A320neo deal.
The Qatari flag carrier remains at an impasse with Airbus and Pratt & Whitney over the teething problems the re-engined airliner has suffered. This prompted the airline to trigger the walk-away clause in its contract for the first of its aircraft earlier this year.
Speaking at the Farnborough air show today, Al Baker reported that there had been "no progress" in the discussions with Airbus and P&W over the Neo and "we will continue walking away until the problem is resolved".
Qatar is now "actively talking" to Boeing about a deal for 25-30 737s, a mix of NG and Max aircraft, he says. "We would also look at 737NG because the Max is still not certified."
He adds that discussions with Boeing are "quite advanced". However, when asked whether a deal could be concluded in time for an announcement at the air show Al Baker said: "We still have a few things to iron out."