By Joanne Bladd
Airline to buy five new Boeing 777 in deal to be announced in New York on Wednesday
Qatar Airways will sign a $1.3bn contract with US planemaker
Boeing on Wednesday to buy five aircraft, the emirate’s state-run news agency
said in a statement
The state-backed carrier will buy five new Boeing 777 planes
to add to its existing 97-plane fleet, QNA said, without citing a source. The
airline already operates 25 Boeing 777.
The deal will be announced on the sidelines on an investment
forum in New York that begins Wednesday.
Along with Gulf rivals Etihad and Emirates Airway, Qatar
Airways is one of the largest buyers of new aircraft, with orders for 80 Airbus
A350s, 60 Boeing 787s and five Airbus SAS A380s.
Qatar Airway said last month it would hire 11,500 new staff
over the next three years to keep pace with an expansion plan that will see it
serve 120 destinations by 2013.
The airline intends to grow its fleet to more than 120
aircraft during the same period.
CEO Akbar Al Baker said in December the airline would launch an initial public offering
(IPO) in early 2012 after three consecutive years of profit.