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Qatar agrees to take 80 A350XWBs

Middle Eastern carrier Qatar Airways has signed a memorandum of agreement to buy 80 Airbus A350XWB twin-jets, including the largest version, the A350-1000.

The agreement, signed in Paris today, covers 20 A350-1000s, 40 A350-900s and 20 A350-800s with deliveries from 2013.

Qatar Airways becomes the first customer to commit to the A350-1000.

It supersedes a 2005 deal – made before Airbus redesigned the A350 – under which Qatar Airways was to take 60 of the type, a mix of A350-800s and -900s.

The carrier had intended to equip these with General Electric GEnx engines; as yet there is no GE engine for the revamped A350XWB, and no engine selection has been indicated for the revised deal.

Qatar Airways chief Akbar Al-Baker says the airline will benefit from the A350’s cockpit commonality with other aircraft as well as its fuel efficiency.

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