Qatar orders 80 Airbus A350s worth 16 billion dollars

30th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 30, 2007 (AFP) - The Gulf state of Qatar signed an order Wednesday for 80 Airbus A350 aircraft worth 16 billion dollars (12 billion euros), the largest contract to date for the plane, officials said.

PARIS, May 30, 2007 (AFP) - The Gulf state of Qatar signed an order Wednesday for 80 Airbus A350 aircraft worth 16 billion dollars (12 billion euros), the largest contract to date for the plane, officials said.

The deal was signed at the French presidential palace by the head of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, and Louis Gallois, Airbus chief executive, during a ceremony also attended by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad ben Khalifa al-Thani.

Gallois described the accord as "the largest contract to date" for the long-haul A350, which can carry between 250 and 380 passengers.

He said the order was not linked to Qatar's expressed interest in taking a stake in the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), the Airbus parent group.

"The first plane will be delivered in the summer of 2013," Gallois said, adding that the deal was "proof of the confidence shared by Qatar Airways and the emirate of Qatar in European manufacturing."

Al Baker, the Qatar Airways chief, said "we have huge confidence in Airbus," which has been struggling with serious production and delivery setbacks in its A380 superjumbo program.

The fuel-efficient A350 is to compete with Boeing's 787 Dreamliner model, scheduled to enter service in 2008.

In another development, French presidential spokesman David Martinon said Qatar and EADS were to sign an agreement on June 3 on radar-based protection and safety measures for Qatari airspace.

But he provided no further details on the contract, which is to be signed in the Qatari capital Doha.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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