Qatar Airways has signed a contract for the purchase of 80 of the all-new Airbus A350 XWB aircraft and also placed an order for a further three A380s, bringing their total order for the type to five. The agreement was signed at the 47th International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget between Akbar Al-Baker, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer and Louis Gallois Airbus President and CEO. This follows on an initial agreement announced in May.
The 80 A350 XWBs include 20 A350 XWB-800s, 40 A350 XWB-900s and 20 of the largest in the family, the A350 XWB-1000. Deliveries will begin from 2013. Qatar Airways will use the A350 XWBs to complement and subsequently replace its A330s on regional and long haul routes.
"Concluding this deal with Airbus for the all new A350 XWB and the 21st century flagship A380 is a significant step in our development and towards reinforcing our commitment to operating the very latest and most modern fleet. Both the A350 XWB and A380 offer unbeatable operating economics and their performance and range will allow us continue the rapid development of our network," said Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker.
The A350 XWB, is Airbus' newest aircraft and will be the world's most technologically advanced. It is designed to increase productivity, offer unparalleled levels of passenger comfort in its class whilst reducing operating costs. Addressing environmental concerns, the A350 XWB will set new standards in fuel-efficiency.
The A380 is the world's most environmentally friendly aircraft flying today and achieves fuel efficiency levels of 2.9 litres per passenger per 100 kilometres. It will make a significant contribution to the further reduction of the average fuel consumption of the global airline fleet.
"Today is an important milestone in the history of the A350 XWB. We are honoured with Qatar Airways' endorsement of our newest product," said Airbus President and CEO Louis Gallois. "Qatar Airways has been a long standing Airbus customer with orders straddling all our aircraft families, including the A380. I wish to thank Qatar Airways for their renewed confidence in Airbus," he added.
Qatar Airways is the largest all-Airbus operator in the Middle East and one of the world's leading airlines, with a fleet that comprises aircraft from the A320, A300/A310 and A330/A340 families. It is also a customer for the 21st Century flagship jetliner, the A380.
Airbus is an EADS company.