CORRECTED: Boeing to sell 34 777X cargo planes to Qatar Airways
US plane maker Boeing reached a pair of major agreements on Monday with Qatar Airways, including the sale of 34 777X freighters worth an estimated $20 billion.
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.