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Qatar Airways eyes A330 order by mid-June

Qatar Airways is planning to announce an order of up to 15 Airbus A330 aircraft by the Paris air show in June, as a result of delays to the delivery of its Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

The Doha-based carrier is looking at ordering 10 to 15 A330s, the airline's chief executive Akbar Al Baker tells reporters today at the sidelines of an event in Dubai. Al Baker's comments were confirmed by a Qatar Airways spokesman.

Al Baker says that the airline hopes to conclude a deal with Airbus by the Paris air show, which begins on 17 June.

Qatar Airways operates 16 A330-200s and 13 A330-300s, Flightglobal's Ascend Online database shows.

Al Baker indicated last year that the airline could place an order for A330s, telling Flightglobal in October 2012 that it had started talks with Airbus following delays to the 787 delivery schedule.

The airline has five 787 Dreamliners in service, and have resumed flights with the aircraft type after a grounding on the 787 was lifted by authorities in April. Qatar Airways has 25 787s to be delivered, as well as 30 options. Deliveries of the airline's remaining 787s will begin from June.

Al Baker says the 787 grounding has cost the carrier about $200 million in lost revenue, but the airline does not plan to cancel any remaining 787 deliveries. Instead, Al Baker indicates that the carrier is likely to convert its existing 30 787 options, some of which could be used for the larger 787-9.

Separately, Emirates CEO Tim Clark also reportedly said at the same event that his carrier plans to buy a "chunk" of new 777X aircraft, the stretched, re-winged and re-engined variant Boeing plans to field by the end of the decade.

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