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Qatar commits to up to 100 Boeing aircraft in $18.6 billion order

Qatar Airways will purchase up to 100 Boeing jets under a deal with a potential list-price value of $18.6 billion, the single largest aircraft commitment in the Doha-based airline's history.

The Oneworld carrier has ordered 30 Boeing 787-9s and 10 777-300ERs, and has also signed a letter of intent for up to 60 737 Max 8s.

Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker announced the order at a press briefing in Washington DC, alongside Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief Ray Conner and the US deputy secretary of state Tony Blinken.

"Boeing has proven to be a valuable partner, and today's announcement is testament to our appreciation of the quality of their product and their dedication to providing world-class customer service," says Al Baker.

The order will grow Qatar's Boeing widebody backlog to 105 aircraft, from 65, says Boeing.

Qatar's disclosure of the aircraft order in the US capital comes amid an ongoing campaign by three major US carriers, which have accused the airline and two other Gulf carriers of receiving unfair state subsidies. While the US government has said it is reviewing these claims, it has not taken any action aside from holding "informal" talks with the governments of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Boeing's Conner alludes to the conflict between the Gulf carriers and the US airlines, pointing to how aircraft orders from foreign airlines help to create US jobs.

He says: "Today's announcement really exemplifies the benefits of a global partnership and how trade and innovation go hand-in-hand in an increasingly interconnected world. Sometimes, what gets lost in these announcements is the impact that an agreement like this has on American lives."

Additional reporting by Edward Russell

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