Qatar Airways is considering another order for Boeing Co.’s 777X jetliner, a potential boost for the airplane that’s running years behind schedule and struggling to gain sales.
When asked if Qatar intends to stick with the 777X, Qatar Airways’ chief executive officer Akbar al-Baker responded, “Absolutely, we will even give them a bigger order.”
The Doha-based carrier is a launch customer for both passenger and freighter versions of the new 777 family, the largest aircraft in Boeing’s product line-up and an heir to the hump-backed 747 jumbo, whose production is slated to end in a few months.

Visitors look at a Boeing 777X rolling on the tarmac during the airshow of the Farnborough Airshow, in Farnborough.

Al-Baker didn’t specify which version he’s considering or any potential deal size. He affirmed his interest in the 777X to reporters at the Farnborough International Airshow in the wake of the latest delay, which pushes the jet’s commercial debut to 2025 -- about five years behind schedule.
Qatar has 74 orders for the twin-engine jet, which is making its Farnborough debut, and signed on as the initial customer for a freighter version at a White House ceremony in January.
Al-Baker also confirmed that a memorandum of understanding had lapsed for an order for 25 of Boeing’s 737 Max jets, unveiled during the same state visit.
At Farnborough, the national airline is showcasing its state-of-the-art passenger aircraft Boeing 787-9 with its new business class product, Boeing 777-300ER with special FIFA Livery, and Qatar Executive’s elegant private jet, the Gulfstream G650ER.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive HE Akbar al- Baker, said: “It has been a few years since we have been able to attend such an event, so it is great to return to this year’s Farnborough Air Show in our strongest ever financial position. Our record-breaking financial year with a $1.54bn profit comes at an important milestone for Qatar Airways, as we celebrate our 25th anniversary and look forward to bringing hundreds of thousands of football fans to Doha for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
London’s Heathrow airport should have better anticipated the disruption to flights this summer and given airlines more notice of the need to trim schedules, according to al-Baker, one of its own directors.
Al-Baker, who represents the Mideast state’s sovereign wealth fund on the Heathrow board, told Bloomberg Television he understood staffing issues facing the hub but was “disappointed” by its lack of foresight.
"Heathrow has the right to restrict your flight because they cannot overload their facilities,” he said in an interview at the Farnborough International Airshow. “But my question to the management would be, they should have seen this coming and they should have taken mitigating actions.”
Heathrow took the decision last week to impose a two-month cap on daily passenger traffic to contain travel chaos caused by staffing shortages in key areas like ground handling.
Al-Baker said airlines ideally need to be told of curbs three months in advance as passengers typically book in March for July, so that halting flights just weeks before “has cost implications.”
Of an ongoing legal dispute with Airbus over surface degradation on A350 wide-body jets, al-Baker said he remains open to a settlement but hasn’t seen a proposal to fix the issue that would be acceptable both to his airline and the Qatari air-safety regulator.
The CEO reiterated that Airbus “illegally” walked away from a separate contract to supply A321neos and said he’s awaiting the court’s final verdict, with which Qatar Airways will comply.
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