Qatar Air keen on new 777, unhappy with GE engines

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Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways CEO.

Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways CEO.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker has said he is interested in purchasing Boeing’s upgraded version of the popular 777 aircraft when it is officially launched, but said he was unhappy with the engine performance of its current fleet of 777 aircraft.

A Bloomberg news report claimed the 777X was currently awaiting approval to start production, but Al Baker said he had already met Boeing about a possible deal.

“They have given us a presentation and when they launch their aircraft we will be very interested,” he said.

However, when asked about the carrier’s existing fleet of 777 aircraft, Al Baker said he was not happy with the engine performance from the General Electric (GE) engines.

“We have issues with the G90 [engine]. We are not happy with them... GE knows about it… the on-wing performance of the engine,” he said.

Qatar Airways has taken delivery of 33 777 aircraft and currently has nine left to receive. The General Electric GE90 engine is a family of high-bypass turbofan aircraft engines built by GE Aviation exclusively for the Boeing 777.

Despite Al Baker’s reservations, Boeing announced in March said GE has been chosen as its engine partner for the development study on the 777X.

"This decision to work with GE going forward reflects the best match to the development program, schedule and airplane performance," said Bob Feldmann, vice president and general manager, 777X Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

"We are studying airplane improvements that will extend today's 777 efficiencies and reliability for the next two decades or longer, and the engines are a significant part of that effort. Our focus is on providing the most competitive offering to our customers in the large twin aisle market."

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Posted by: Ronald Jason Ramos

Qatar Airways and other Boeing 777 customers like British Airways, EVA Air, Cathay Pacific should encourage Boeing to add more engine options, other than General Electric, please add Rolls Royce and Pratt and Whitney to add more competition and make the airplane sales of the Boeing 777X, will boost even higher. Go Boeing. Rolls Royce and Pratt are good engine makers, Boeing has to realize that.

Posted by: Ronald Jason Ramos

Qatar Airways and other Boeing 777 customers like British Airways, EVA Air, Cathay Pacific should encourage Boeing to add more engine options, other than General Electric, please add Rolls Royce and Pratt and Whitney to add more competition and make the airplane sales of the Boeing 777X, will boost even higher. Go Boeing. Rolls Royce and Pratt are good engine makers, Boeing has to realize that.

Posted by: Ed B

Selling to Qatar airlines is bad for publicity. I would as aircraft company not really be selling to them unless they pay a premium to afford the lawyers to sue back Qatar airlines.

Posted by: Qatari

After the Financial crisis, aircraft companies beg Qatar Airways to order planes.

Posted by: Anon

So this man has "issues" with on wing performance? What does he really know about aeronautical engineering? The answer is zero knowledge but maximum ego.

Posted by: RAH

He's unhappy about anything and everything and remains too darn vocal for his own good.

How about you tell us how unhappy you are with your own performance at meeting the opening date for Doha's new airport?

Or is that something you are proud of?

Before complaining about GE's, look at DIA!

Posted by: Qatari

@RAH. He paid GE for something and he wasn't pleased with it, he has all the right to complain. Please remind me again who paid for HIA? Yeah, exactly.

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