Boeing to sell 34 777X cargo planes to Qatar Airways
Besides the 34 planes, Qatar Airways also has purchase rights for another 16 777X cargo planes, according to the agreement finalized at a White House signing ceremony.
The Middle Eastern carrier also signed a letter of intent to buy 25 737 MAX planes worth $6.7 billion, the White House said.
The announcement gives a boost to Boeing and its latest widebody plane the 777X, which saw its development pushed back amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 777 "will be an absolute world beater," said Boeing Chief Executive David Calhoun, who has also emphasized the plane maker is seeing freight aircraft demand grow as e-commerce becomes more popular.
The contract shows that Boeing "serves a global need that in a post-Covid world will be coming back and coming back in a significant way," Calhoun said at the signing.
The orders for the MAX are welcome news for Boeing after the plane experienced a lengthy grounding following two fatal crashes, one of the major problems that has dogged the aviation giant in recent years.
Boeing last week reported a $4.1 billion quarterly loss due to one-time costs of $3.8 billion connected to problems with its 787 Dreamliner plane. The company has suspended deliveries on the model due to a series of production problems.
For Qatar Airways, the deals with Boeing follow an unusual public fight with Airbus, which earlier this month canceled the carrier's multi-billion-dollar order of 50 planes in an escalating feud over its grounding of the A350 aircraft.